Saint Joseph Hospital's ethics consultation service is a resource to help you, your family and your doctor make difficult decisions.
We invite all those we serve - patients, their families and providers of care - to seek an ethics consultation whenever ethical questions arise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to common questions about how this service can assist you and your family.
- Who may request an ethics consultation?
Any patient, family member or friend, physician, or hospital staff member can request an ethics consultation.
- How do you obtain an ethics consultation?
Call the hospital operator who will then arrange to have a hospital supervisor or department director call you. Within the hospital, dial "0" or call 303-837-7111.
- Who may attend the consultation?
If a consultation is warranted, you may invite anyone you choose. A smaller group often works best. Participants should be knowledgeable of the facts and have an awareness of the patient's wishes and best interests. The committee members will invite appropriate professionals to assist with the discussion.
- What will happen during the consultation?
The consultant will convene a meeting as soon as possible and will notify all interested persons of the time and place. You and the committee will discuss pertinent facts, feelings and opinions. The meetings are confidential and advisory. The goal is to clarify the situation, understand the dynamics involved and explore possible avenues of treatment and their outcome.
- What happens afterward?
The consultants will communicate their advice and findings to the appropriate individuals - including the patient, physicians, the patient's care team, family and hospital administration.
- Who are the members of the Ethics Committee?
Members of SCL Health's Ethics Committee include physicians, administrators, nurses, ethicists, chaplains, lawyers, social workers, patient representatives and members of the community.
- How much does this cost?
There is no charge for this service.
The ethics committee will never make decisions for you, but it will help you when having to make difficult decisions. What is discussed with you is a private matter and the findings of the committee will become part of the patient's medical record, which is secure and confidential.
As our team works with patients and families, we adhere to the following:
- In the care we give to those we serve, and in all our relationships, we will treat each person with dignity and compassion.
- As we seek to provide health and healing to those we serve, we will honor and respect the sacredness of human life through every stage of patient care.
- We will be guided by the highest ethical and moral norms.