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Policy Formulation

     Often cited as one of the three primary functions of the clinical ethics committee is the challenge of institutional policy development. A myriad of subjects have ethical content or implications which may escape first notice. Joint Commission standards on Patient Safety, Patient Rights and Responsibilities, Environment of Care, Pain Management, Emergency Treatment, and other topics require conscientious, well-informed and carefully reasoned analysis not only of the requirements for accreditation, but of complex ethical issues.

     Are your institution's policies regularly screened by knowledgeable ethics committee members or staff in regard to their ethical content? What principles of policy review are employed? Does this review address only clinical policies and protocols, or does it extend to organizational and administrative policies? Does the institution utilize a consistent template for policy structure, and does this include a section describing the values underlying a policy?

     Our Consultancy faculty have considerable experience in policy review and formulation. In the era of rapid technological and sociological change, both familiar and new concerns present themselves for the institution and the health care team: issues in resource allocation; disclosure of medical errors and unforeseen events; informed consent; medical futility; advance care planning; the role of the ethics committee and ethics consultation; use of restraints, and many others. The Consultancy will work collaboratively with your team to suggest approaches and substantive content for your policies.


© Clinical Ethics Consultancy, 2008

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