Ethics Resources Page

About This Program

Ethics is a system of moral principles which guides us in making decisions. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring the ethical delivery of care, from the point of care to the boardroom. This page has been created to highlight key CMH resources when patients, families and providers experience an ethical problem. Below you will find a tool that assists with determining the type of problem and who to direct concerns to, followed by information about our Ethics Committee, the Clinical Ethics Consultation process, and documents that address healthcare decision-making.

Who do I connect with?

Follow this guide to see which resource might best answer your question. Some of the things you may be asking yourself or feeling (adapted from Hamilton Health Sciences):

  • “What is the right thing to do?”
  • Are you caught between two or more obligations such as promoting well-being and respecting choice?
  • Do multiple options seem right, or seem wrong?
  • Are you concerned about how to protect others from harm?
  • Is there no clear policy, law or standard way forward?
  • Would you describe yourself and others as feeling moral distress over an issue?
Does the question involve disagreements concerns or uncertainties about a patient's care? Does the question involve concerns about research?  Does the question involve concerns about quality of care, patient experience or clinical risk/legal considerations? Does the question concern wrong doing or illegal activity? Does the question involve access to, disclosure or use of personal health, business or staff information?

Who to contact with your question?

Clinical Ethics Consultation -Please speak with the manager of the patient unit

Research Ethics (THREB) - Please speak with the manager of the patient unit

Patient Experience

Whistle Blower

Patient Privacy

Ethics Committee

CMH's ethics committee meets every two months and is made up of multiple disciplines from all parts of the hospital. Its purpose is to strengthen CMH's commitment to patient focused care, by looking at ethical issues related to clinical practice and organizational standards. It does this through education, communication, consultation and administrative guidance.

Purpose

CMH is commited to providing exceptional patient care. The Ethics Committee's core objectives in relation to clinical practice and professional standards, include:

  • Education
  • Communication
  • Consultation
  • Administrative guidance

Goals

Ethics Education

  • Facilitate the continuing education needs of the clinical and support staff, volunteers and hospital leadership related to ethical issues

Self-Education

  • Ensure ongoing member familiarity with professional ethical principles, legislative initiatives and ethical issues of significance

Ethics Resource

  • Provide information and insight to hospital leadership and professional staff on legislative, medical and research initiatives that bear an ethical component

Administrative Guidance

  • Review and advise on the ethical aspects of hospital policies, procedures, and guidelines

Ethics Consultation

  • Provide a forum for the discussion of ethical and moral questions which arise in the hospital
  • Develop internal capacity in ethics consultation via a hub and spoke model of consultation and support

Code of Ethics

  • Develop and maintain an organizational code of ethics

Data Support

  • Develop a data repository to house needs assessment data, consultation requests, etc. to assist in the identification of organizational themes and needs

Services

Clinical Ethics Consultation Service

As a means to enhance patient care, CMH offers a clinical ethics consultation service that helps patients, family members and healthcare practitioners work through complex ethical issues. Depending on the issue, CMH may bring in a bio-ethicist to help with the process. 

When a request is made, the case will first be reviewed with the patient or family member to see how the consultation might benefit them. Information about the case will be collected. Care team members who are involved will be informed and invited to participate in the consultation service. 

Patients and family members are guided through the problem with members of the treatment team. Together, they will work through a number of considerations to ensure all ethical values are considered. This service is done in an advisory and educational capacity, with the goal of helping the patient, family or substitute decision maker with decision making. The goal is not to provide a specific answer.

To receive a clinical ethics consultation service, please contact the manager of the unit or speak with a member of the care team. 

Resources

Helpful information and brochures (in development):

  • Ethical Decision making framework (YODA)
  • Steps for resolving ethical dilemmas
  • Ethical decision making framework (YODA) brochure
  • Advance care planning
  • Waterloo Wellington advance care planning
  • Capacity assessment
  • Informed consent
  • Power of attorney for personal care