What Is Ethics in a Healthcare Setting?
Ethics involves helping patients, families, and those who work in healthcare when they are facing difficult moral or value-based choices about the right or best course of action. The goal is not to impose values on others, but to support individuals and groups in solving complex problems. This helps them to make informed decisions about treatment.
All patients at NHH, their families, volunteers and staff have access to our ethicist.
How Do I Know It Is an Ethical Issue?
You May Have an Ethical Issue If You:
- Disagree with others about a care decision
- Think about an issue or decision long after it is made
- Wonder if you should consider your cultural, religious, professional or other beliefs
- Worry what is the right thing to do
Topics in Health Care That Might Present an Ethical Challenge Could Include:
- Goals for treatment
- Value differences and conflicts
- End-of-life decision-making
- Allocation of resources
How Can Ethics Help?
The Ethicist Can Help By:
- Making the time and space to talk
- Helping to be clear about what we know, what we are assuming, and what we need to find out
- Figuring out who the stakeholders are and try to see things from their position
- Better understanding the values of those involved
- Using the Ethics Framework to weigh competing values/ interests
What Is An Ethicist, And How Can They Help Me?
The Ethicist is a resource person, with advanced training in ethics, who can help clarify ethical issues. An Ethicist can offer other perspectives, review options and assist patients, families and healthcare teams with decision-making.
What Will the Ethicist Do?
- Provide confidential consultation
- Ensure all relevant facts, values and options are explored
- Help people understand and explore available treatment options
- Identify and provide information to help people make decisions about ethical issues
- Mediate to assist individuals and/or groups when there is a difference of opinion about a particular patient care situation
- Provide education to patients, families and professionals on ethical issues in health care
For help with an ethical issue or using the Ethics Framework, please contact our Ethics Consultation Service at 905-430-4055 x6046, or firstname.lastname@example.org and your email or phone message will be answered within two business days.