Hospital ethics committee to launch new monthly discussion series June 3

hospital ethicsAttend an open conference June 3 to consider issues encountered by UAB’s Clinical Ethics Consult Team and the processes used to resolve them.

This is the first in a series to be held at 4:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month in the West Pavilion Conference Center, and all hospital personnel are welcome.

The purpose is to increase the awareness of issues in clinical ethics and provide an opportunity for all hospital staff to explore ethical principles and their practical application through actual case examples. The sessions will be an interactive, open discussion of difficult issues, such as end-of-life care and situations in which the line between laws and ethics are nuanced, said Wendy Walters, vice chair of the Ethics Oversight Committee.

Younger staff should consider this an opportunity to discuss things that are challenging and better understand the theoretical principles from all members of the patient-care team — much like Schwartz Rounds, Walters said.

Walters said participation by senior physicians and staff will provide others with the benefit of their wisdom, including “the positivity you can maintain in a situation that is acutely frustrating and continue to do the best you can, within the ethics of the law, even if you disagree.”

The Ethics Oversight Committee’s Clinical Ethics Consult team provides advice and assists in resolving conflicts between providers or between providers and patients or their families. Hospital personnel may request an ethics consultation by contacting the Chief of Staff on call.

Direct questions to committee Chair Jim Hunter, M.D., at jhunter@uab.edu, or Walters at wwalters@uabmc.edu.

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