The Department of Clinical and Organizational Ethics (“The Ethics Department”) at Indiana University Health is a resource available to individuals throughout the IUH system. The department is comprised of individuals with education, training, and experience in navigating ethical challenges unique to healthcare and medicine.
The department is available to assist clinicians, staff, and other departments in areas of:
Education | Policy Development | Clinical Consultation | Organizational Consultation | Supervision of Ethics Committees
The department regularly provides lectures, guidance, and resources to colleagues across the IU Health and Indiana University Systems. Individuals within the department have developed content tailored to the individual needs of undergraduate students, medical students, residents, fellows, and other health professionals. The department regularly collaborates with colleagues across the campus to elevate the ethical competence of the entire IU Health and IU systems.
Policies concerning patient care frequently have ethical dimensions requiring ethically relevant analysis and guidance. The department is available to assist in formulating, drafting, and supervising such policies to ensure that ethical concerns implicated by the policies are adequately considered.
The ethics department supervises and directs the clinical consultation services at each facility across the IUH System. Clinical consultation is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at all IUH hospitals. For a more complete description of the consultation service, please click Learn More below.Learn More
In addition to the ethical dilemmas arising out of individual patient care, ethical conflicts may arise as a result of structures within IUH, whether those are secondary to policy or legal issues or difficulty navigating changes and evolution in approaches to healthcare. These issues affect not just one patient encounter but potentially the approach of a department to a recurrent dilemma. Examples of organizational consults include: communication with family members of patients regarding significant genetic results; development of ethically sound approaches to family conflicts with adolescent patients; creation of frameworks for providing care to patients who lack capacity; and other issues.
Oftentimes, these issues implicate legal or governmental issues requiring collaboration with other departments, review of substantial existing literature, and investment of significant time to adequately respond. In such cases, it is often more efficient to reach out to the Ethics Department to request assistance in providing the relevant summary of literature, collaborate with other departments, and draft analyses and recommendations to address the organizational issue.