Online Ethics Discussion Forum Facilitates Medical Center Clinical Ethics Case Reviews
Ramsey, David J.
Schmidt, Mary Lou
JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation 2010 January-March; 12(1): 15-20
Clinical ethics consultants are increasingly called upon to give counsel in the clinical arena on issues including but not limited to withdrawal or withholding of specific medical treatments, assisting minors and mentally impaired patients with care decisions, working with difficult patients and families, identifying appropriate surrogate decision makers, and executing advance directives and end-of-life decisions. Often, the consultant may need to convene the ethics committee members to review and provide feedback for a given case. This process may be difficult to schedule in a timely way because of member's clinical and other work-related obligations. To this end, the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago has set up a unique Web board to facilitate ongoing case discussions via a secured, password-protected ethics committee online forum. This allows for real-time review by all ethics committee members. We will explain our online process as well as discuss our clinical case experiences.
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