Case Study: Ethics Consultation
Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics. 1994 Winter; 22(4): 347-350.
With this case study, we begin a series of discussions taken from the Ethics Consultation Service at Strong Memorial Hospital, a 700-bed tertiary care center in Rochester, New York. The consultation service was set up with the goal of responding promptly to requests from staff and patients for review of ongoing clinical situations where valid differences in value systems are obstacles to decision making. When possible, we talk individually with the patient, family members, and staff who are involved in the dilemma. Generally, it takes about one week to gather information, analyze the situation, identify and research the issues, and make typewritten recommendations complete with references. Our foremost concern is ethics, with law and medicine providing relevant precedents, analogies, and parameters for our case analyses. Where appropriate, we will have obtained the patient's (or family's) permission to write about the case for publication.
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