From time to time, difficult or critical questions may arise regarding the treatment of a patient. When staff members, the patient and/or the family cannot agree on a care plan, the Norton Healthcare Ethics Committee is available to help reach a decision that is medically sound and respects the patient’s rights. The Ethics Committee cannot force any treatment decision, but is available to advise and promote discussion.
Any person may request that the Ethics Committee consider an ethical question regarding the treatment of a patient. To make a request, contact the hospital’s chaplain, or ask your doctor or nurse.
The committee will:
- Act as a liaison between family and health care professionals to facilitate informed judgment that is consistent with sound medical principles, hospital policies and guidelines that respect patient rights and are grounded in sound ethical principles.
- Consult and advise regarding ethical and moral issues, protection of patients’ rights and interests, development of treatment policies, education on ethical and moral patient care issues, and protection of the hospital’s rights and interests.
- Not serve as a decision-making body or authority to dictate any treatment decisions but instead will serve as an adviser, facilitator of discussion and sounding board.
- Offer confidential case review and nonbinding recommendations for clinical situations that present uncertainty or conflict regarding value-laden concerns in the treatment of a patient.
All Ethics Committee meetings are confidential.
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