Catholic health care seeks to carry out the healing ministry of Jesus in a complex environment: a fragmented health care system, millions of Americans uninsured or underinsured, enormous competition, challenges in reimbursement, proliferating technologies and numerous biomedical and scientific advances. These and other forces often generate difficult questions about how to live out our faith and value commitments in concrete situations. Reflecting on what we ought to do and who we ought to become as individuals and as organizations in the clinical, business, or social realms is the work of ethics.
The ethics function at Saint Thomas Health seeks to provide assistance to our physicians, staff, patients and families in navigating the many complex ethical realities in health care today. We do this through individual consultations, presentations, conducting monthly Ethics Committee meetings, collaborating with our colleagues, developing and sharing resources and offering educational programs to internal audiences and throughout the community.
Directors of Ethics
Reasons You Might Want an Ethics Consult Include:
Help with advance directives, such as living wills or durable powers of attorney for health care. For information about advance directives, click here.
Conflict about what to do for a loved one
Making difficult decisions near the end of life
Conflict about who should make decisions for a patient who is not able to do so
Things to Know About Ethics Consults
Ethics consults provide help, advice, support, education or discernment about difficult decisions related to medical care.
Anyone (i.e. physician, associate, patient or family member) may request a consult by calling the above numbers or asking to have the ethics person on call paged 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The name of the caller is kept confidential.
The ethics consultant will talk to the physicians, nurses, other caregivers, patients and family members and review the chart as appropriate in an effort to determine what is going on in the case to help resolve the problem.