Welcome to the Ethics Service at Providence Care. We are here to support clients, patients, residents, families, and staff when they face difficult decisions in healthcare.
What is Ethics?
Ethics is about the values and principles that should guide decisions. We all face challenging decisions in our lives. Most of the time, we can make these decisions ourselves, or with support from family and friends. But decisions about healthcare and medical treatment can be especially difficult. Sometimes we don’t know what a person would want, or there are divergent expectations between the healthcare team, the client/patient/resident, or family members. These types of situations sometimes arise when we face decisions about issues such as:
- Medical treatment at end of life
- Healthcare for a patient who can’t decide for herself/himself
- Advance care planning and goals of care
- Discharging a patient into the community
What does the Ethics Service do?
An Ethics Service offers ethics consultations for clients, patients, residents, families, and staff facing ethically challenging decisions. In an ethics consultation, an ethicist supports stakeholders through the decision-making process. An ethicist is a person with special training in ethics. The ethicist can assist patients, families, and healthcare professionals in a number of ways, including by:
- Identifying and clarifying ethical issues
- Exploring possible outcomes and alternative courses of action
- Uncovering common ground
- Clarifying roles and responsibilities
What does the Ethics Service not do?
In an ethics consultation, the ethicist will not make the decision for you. Decisions are always in the hands of the appropriate decision-maker(s). Depending on the situation, this could be the client/patient/resident, a substitute decision-maker, or the healthcare team.
The ethicist is also not the “morality police”. The ethicist is not there to address decisions or behaviours that have already occurred. If you have a concern, compliment, or comment about care or services at Providence Care, please contact Patient, Client, & Family Relations.
Who can request an ethics consultation?
Anyone can request a consultation. Clients, patients, residents, family members, and Providence Care personnel can contact the Ethics Service to discuss a situation or request a consultation.
When should I contact the Ethics Service?
Please do not hesitate to contact us any time you are struggling to make a decision or you are not sure whether you are doing the right thing.
How do I contact the Ethics Service?
To contact the service, you can email Jeremy Butler, Providence Care’s Ethicist, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholic Health Ethics
Providence Care is a Catholic-sponsored health organization. This means that Providence Care follows the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada’s Health Ethics Guide. For information about Providence Care’s Catholic identity, please see our Catholic Health page and our Mission, Vision, and Values.