Ethics Consultation Service

What is an ethics consult?

The Ethics Services team provides ethics consultation services for Providence Health Care and Providence Living to assist clinicians, organizational leaders, and policy makers in any situations where ethical concerns are identified. 

Ethics consultations seek to:

  • Bring clarity to ethical dilemmas by defining the ethical issues
  • Explain ethical issues with ethical terms and concepts
  • Identify and help to balance various and sometimes conflicting interests
  • Support teams with the development and evaluation of care plans
  • Assist in identifying choices that will lead to the fulfillment of PHC's missions and values

An ethics consult may be helpful for a range of issues. Examples include:

  • Addressing discrepancies among clinicians' decisions and the wishes of patients or their surrogates
  • Interpreting patient wishes or advance directives
  • Discerning patient wishes or interests when there is no clear advance directive
  • Clarifying who the decision-makers are
  • Determining the extent of patient confidentiality
  • Respecting patient confidentiality
  • Resolving tensions related to religious beliefs or cultural backgrounds