Ethics Committee

What can an Ethics Consultation accomplish?

  • Clarify Issues
  • Facilitate Decision Making
  • Encourage Communications and Understanding
  • Dialogue about Options and Consequences
  • Identify and Help Manage Resources
  • Provide Recommendations

Statement of Purpose
Reflecting on the Mission Statement and Core Values of St. Vincent Healthcare, the Ethics Committee serves as a resource to foster communication and education about moral and ethical issues and clinical decision-making. The Ethics Committee seeks to promote patient care through dignity, respect and dialogue.

The Ethics Consultation
The goal of an ethics consultation is to focus on the ethical issues which may arise during a patient's care in order to enhance the quality of care. Ethics consultations provide support and guidance for family members and care providers.

Who can request an Ethics Consultation?
The Ethics Committee is available to provide ethics consultations. A consultation with the ethics consultation team can be requested by a patient, a family member or any healthcare provider directly involved in the patient's care or administration.

What should be considered when requesting a consultation?

  • Why the consultation is needed
  • Patient's rights
  • Patient wishes and values
  • Family's wishes
  • Integrity of caregivers
  • Medical facts
  • Current knowledge of the patient's condition
  • Authorized decision-maker
  • Options available
  • Benefits and burdens to patient
  • Nature of any disagreements

When is an Ethics Consultation appropriate?

  • When the ethical issues are unclear
  • When decision-making cannot be completed
  • When a decision-maker cannot be identified
  • When there is a significant disagreement among patient, family and/or care providers

Ethics Committee Functions

  • Providing ethics education for patients, families, employees, healthcare providers, community members
  • Ethics Consultations
  • Ethics Case Reviews

Ethics Committee Members

  • Healthcare Providers
  • Chaplains
  • Administrators
  • Community Representatives

How does one request an Ethics Consultation?

  • Weekdays 8am-5pm; Notify the Administrative Assistant, 406-237-3066, who will notify the Ethics Committee Chairperson.
  • Evenings/Weekends; Notify the House Supervisor, 406-237-3350, who will notify the Ethics Committee Chairperson.