The Clinical Ethics Consultation Service is a 24-hour service available to patients, family members of patients, or any individual involved in patient care. Ethical dilemmas arise when the right thing to do is not clear or when disagreement exists about what is best for a patient. This service provides guidance on navigating ethical dilemmas arising during clinical care, including issues around end-of-life care, the application of advanced directives, and surrogate decision-making. These dilemmas may involve moral values, religious beliefs, or professional duties and guidelines. Clinical ethics offers ways to identify and weigh the values at stake so that the individuals responsible for decisions can make good choices.
After consultation with key persons involved in the care of the patient, when it is determined that there may be an ethics problem that clear communication cannot resolve, the Ethics Committee Consultation Service should be called. Any person involved with the care of a patient can ask for an ethics consultation (e.g., physician, nurse, other care provider, patient, family).
Examples of clinical ethics problems include:
One or more members of the Ethics Consultation Service will respond to a request for ethics assistance. These individuals are trained to engage to ethically, legally, emotionally, and spiritually sensitive situations with both compassion and fairness. The consultant(s) may review the medical record, discuss concerns with the attending physician and other key care providers, convene a family conference, offer a recommendation, and/or write a note in the medical record.
Ethics Consultants will help those involved in the difficult situation:
Click below to find contact information about Ethics Consultations in the IU Health Regions.Learn More