Sometimes patients and their caregivers face difficult decisions. The ethics consultation service is available to help patients, and their caregivers, their loved ones, and the healthcare providers during times of difficult decisions, tough choices and other ethical concerns.
These can Include:
• Help in understanding what patients want when they cannot speak for themselves.
• Assistance in identifying the legal decision maker for a patient who cannot communicate.
• Guidance with disagreement resolution among patients, families, and providers.
• Facilitating communication about appropriate treatment options.
• Any ethical concern or question about healthcare decisions and values can be discussed in a confidential ethics consultation. All consultations are free of charge.
How does the ethics consultation service work?
Ethics consultants work to ensure everyone’s point of view is heard. They provide a step by step process that involves the following.
• Gathering information from patient, care givers, and medical staff.
• Writing a summation of the concerns for review and acknowledgement by all parties.
• Determining the need for additional resources such as legal, medical, or other professional services
• Identifying the available options.
• Making recommendations for consideration.
• Recording ethics consultations relating to the patient’s medical care.
The ethics consultation service does not make treatment decisions. Through the consultation process, the consultants offer a safe and confidential environment for open discussion about the patient’s welfare. The patient, if unable to participate or communicate, will most often be represented by his/her decision-maker. This person is responsible for providing information on the patient’s wishes as it relates to care and medical services. The ethics consultation process enhances communication and decision making in order to provide the best outcome for the patient.