• Patients, families, surrogates, health care providers, and other involved parties may request an ethical consult without fear of reprisal.
  • If the ethics consultation request is deemed appropriate, the Lead consultant will gather information and proceed with any or all of the following measures:

 -reviewing the patient’s medical record

 -interviewing involved parties, either individually or in groups

 -discussing the case with other members of the consult service

 -discussing the matter with appropriate interested parties (e.g. chaplaincy, risk management, legal counsel)

 -gathering any other information or opinions thought to be helpful, being careful at all times to respect the privacy of the patient

  • Strict attention to confidentiality will be maintained during the entire process.
  •  Any member of the consult service should decline to participate in a consultation should a conflict of interest arise. If the consultation involves a patient within one of the member’s area of patient responsibility, that member should decline, to avoid any appearance of conflict.
  •  Following the gathering of information, a consultation meeting of most or all persons involved may be indicated, especially if there is a difference of opinion about ethically acceptable options. A good-faith effort will be made to involve all parties.
  •  The meeting shall proceed along the following guidelines. The team leader shall:

 -set the length of the meeting, the issues to be discussed and the goals of the meeting in the beginning.

 -assure that the appropriate decision-makers are present.

-explain the purpose and parameters of the meeting.

-emphasize the goals of maintaining confidentiality, and

 -allow time for each person present to express his or her thoughts concerning the case.