"Healthcare in the United States is marked by extraordinary change. Not only is there continuing change in clinical practice due to technological advances but the health care system in the United States is being challenged by both institutional and social factors as well...A contemporary understanding of the Catholic healthcare ministry must take into account the new challenges presented by transitions both in the Church and in American society." - Preamble, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services
Whenever we are dealing with decisions or actions that affect human dignity or well-being, whenever we reflect on what we ought to do and who we ought to become as individuals and as organizations, we are in the realm of ethics. The world of healthcare is extremely complex and it is not easy to know what to do when a serious situation presents itself. At every level throughout Catholic Health, ethics committees assist physicians, nurses, families, patients, and healthcare leadership with complex clinical and business decisions, always in concert with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Ethics Consultation Services
When decisions are not easy…help is available
The primary responsibility to identify and resolve ethical issues in patient care resides with health professionals working with patients, and when appropriate, their family members or other representatives. The Ethics Committee provides help with ethical issues in patient care. The Committee is available to clinicians, patients and families of all faiths for consultation.
What is Ethics Decision-Making
Ethical decision making is a thoughtful process on how to make decisions and choices based on beliefs about the meaning of life, health, suffering and death. Patients, families and health care providers sometimes face difficult decisions about medical care that involve moral principles, religious beliefs or professional guidelines.
What is Ethics Consultation
Ethics consultation is a process by which consultants provide help, upon request, to those directly involved with a patient.
- To identify ethical issues in the care of a particular Resident or patient
- To analyze these ethical concerns through careful dialogue
- To assist ethical problems through a process of discussion with those involved in a case
Ethics consultation is an advisory service. Patients, family members and health care providers remain responsible for their own decisions.