Ethics is the systematic examination of facts, beliefs, standards and values in determining the rightness or wrongness of decisions and actions. Ethics is not merely opinion or gut reaction, but involves reasoned deliberation to address the question: "What is the best thing to do, all things considered?" Clinical ethics promotes reflective practice and the making of “right” choices and decisions in the delivery of healthcare and the treatment of individual patients.
Some examples of clinical ethics issues are;
- Conflict or confusion about the role of the Substitute Decision Maker,
- Uncertainty as to whether a patient is competent to provide consent or refuse treatment,
- Differences in goals of care between patient and family members and other areas where conflict or differing opinions stall the progress and evolution of patient care.
At Woodstock Hospital, our Ethics Committee meets on a regular basis and is supported by Dr. Rob Butcher. Dr. Butcher has worked internationally as well as with Accreditation Canada and has extensive experience working as a Clinical Ethicist throughout Ontario.
Ethical decisions reflect the mission, vision and values of Woodstock Hospital and are guided by our Ethical framework. Woodstock Hospital has multiple supports to guide care including an Ethics Program and Consultations Service, Research Ethics Standards, and Spiritual Care providers. Policies that may help guide and support your practice are:
- Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources policy
- Accessibility: Persons with Disabilities Policy
- Advanced Directives and Powers of Attorney for Personal Care policy
- Confidentiality policy
- Care Giver Presence Policy
- Consent to Treatment –Obtaining and Documenting
- Disclosure of Harm policy
- Ethicist referral policy
- Ethics Framework and Ethical Decision Making Algorithm
- Responding to Patient/Family Compliments, Complaints and Feedback policy
- Reporting Adverse Events and Near Misses
- Visitor policy with related pandemic guidelines updated as required
- Declaration of Patient Values
Anyone involved in a patient's care may call for support from the Ethics Consultation Service. This includes patients, family members, physicians and staff.
If you find yourself struggling with an ethical decision or unclear about what is the right thing to do, please consider contacting our Ethics Consultation Service at (519) 421-4233 ext. 2664 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please leave a message with your name and phone number and your call/email will be returned on the next business day.
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