Sometimes patients, families and members of the healthcare team have very difficult choices and ethical questions they need to talk about. Discussions with the Ethics Committee can be helpful and reassuring when a difficult choice must be made (for example, questions on end-of-life care, allocating scarce resources or confidentiality). The Ethics Committee is here to help when facing these choices and questions.
The Montrose Memorial Hospital (MMH) Ethics Committee is available to review ethical or moral questions that may come up during a patient’s care. Committee members include doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy, and lawyers as well as members of the community. They are available to meet with patients and families, doctors, nurses, and other members of the health care team when difficult decisions need to be made. The Committee’s goal is to help everyone to agree upon an appropriate, moral and ethical decision for the patient’s well-being.
The Ethics Committee offers guidance on moral questions in clinical care, educates clinical staff and the public on issues in medical ethics, and may develop and/or review policies related to addressing moral and ethical issues.
Any health care team member, patient, or patient family member may request a consultation.
The patient’s medical situation and treatment options are reviewed. In addition, concerns and feelings of the patient, family members, and members of the healthcare team are heard. Members of the Committee may meet with patients, families and medical personnel to discuss these concerns.
Ethics Committee members discuss the information which has been gathered.
The Ethics Committee leads a discussion among all of those involved concerning the best course of action for the patient’s welfare. Often there are a number of options available in the course of a patient’s care. Final decisions are made by the patient, family and the health care team.
What should I do if I want to meet with the Ethics Committee?
If you’d like to meet with the Ethics Committee, the first step is to contact the group in one of two ways:
• If you feel comfortable doing so, ask a member of the patient’s health care team to contact the Ethics Committee.
• You can also email the Ethics Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will get back to you promptly.