At Southlake Regional Health Centre, Ethics involves determining the best course of action when presented with difficult moral or values-based choices. At Southlake, our Ethics Team supports those facing such choices by helping them think through the various aspects of the decision and developing options for action. The options are then weighed against each other to determine which option is the best in the given situation.
Making End of Life Decisions
Ethical reflection permeates every decision made at Southlake Regional Health Centre.
The Ethics Service
The Southlake Ethics Service uses a ‘hub and spoke’ model. One Ethicist and a group of Ethics Facilitators respond to requests for consults, education and awareness-raising. Our Ethicist is available at 905-895-4521, ext. 6425. The Ethics Facilitators are members of staff with other primary professional roles who have had additional training in facilitating ethical reflection. We support staff, physicians, patients and families to support ethical decision-making throughout the hospital.
Requests for consultation or education
Requests can be made by patients, families and members of the health care team:
- During regular business hours, call the Southlake Ethicist by calling 905- 895-4521 ext. 6425. If it is urgent, you can call Locating at ext. 2216 and ask to have the Ethicist paged.
- During non-business hours, call extension 2216 (Locating) and ask them to page the Administrator-on-call.
- Email the Ethicist at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hospital Ethics Committee
The Hospital Ethics Committee is a team made up of staff from key areas around the hospital and a community representative. Its role is to support the Ethicist and Facilitators to help the Ethics Service build Southlake’s abilities to identify and respond to ethical issues everywhere they appear.
The Ethics Service contributes to quality patient care by providing:
- confidential consultation and support to patients, families and health care providers when facing difficult ethical issues in patient care.
- education to enhance staff's awareness and understanding of ethical issues in health care.
- policy guidelines and suggestions in areas of ethical concern.
- debriefs with staff to review recent patient care issues for educational purposes and to reflect on the ethical decisions made.
What Ethical issues can the Ethics Service help with?
- patient capacity and consent
- substitute/proxy decision-making
- end of life care/advance directives/resuscitation choices
- difficult treatment decisions/patient/family/staff conflicts
- resource allocation
- research ethics
- other care delivery issues involving value choices
IDEA – Ethical Decision Making Framework
This is one of many tools to help guide decisions that involve complex ethical issues.
Click here to download the IDEA ethical decision making framework work sheet
- Committee members are bound by hospital policy and will use appropriate means to preserve confidentiality.
- All records of consultation are kept strictly confidential.