Who can initiate a consultation?
Physicians, staff, patients or family can request an ethics consultation.
What is the Ethics Committee?
The University Hospital Ethics Committee is an advisory group, appointed by the University of Utah Hospital Medical Executive Board. It reviews, on request, ethical or moral questions that may come up during a patient's care. Committee members include doctors and nurses, as well as a lawyer, chaplain, psychologist, and a representative from hospital administration. 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.
Why does University Hospital have an Ethics Committee?
The Ethics Committee gives advice on moral questions in clinical care, educates clinical staff and the public on issues in medical ethics, and develops policies related to patient care at University Hospital and its associated outpatient clinics. The Ethics Committee also acts as a facilitator on medical ethics issues. Any health care team member, patient, or patient family member may request a consultation.
What happens when a meeting with the Ethics Committee is requested?
The patient's medical situation and treatment options are reviewed. In addition, concerns and feelings of the patient, family members, and the health care team are reviewed. The responding committee member may be able to clarify a policy or the law that would assist with decision making.
When necessary, members of the committee may meet with patients, families and medical personnel to facilitate a discussion that may resolve the issue. The Ethics Committee may make suggestions about the best course of action. 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 have a problem, and you would like to talk it about with an Ethics Committee member, page (801)339-5050.