The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requires hospitals to have a mechanism to address issues of medical ethics. Most hospitals, especially those in the military, have an ethics committee composed solely of members who serve as an additional duty. To enhance the ethics consultation service, the 59th Medical Wing created a position under the chief of the medical staff for a full-time, fellowship-trained, medical ethicist. After establishment of this position, the number of consultations increased, a systematic program for caregiver education was developed and delivered, and an organizational presence was achieved by instituting positions on the institutional review board, the executive committee of the medical staff, and the credentials committee. Issues in Medical Care are becoming increasingly complicated, due in large part to financial stresses and technological advancements. Ethics consultation can help prevent and resolve many of these problems. This report discusses the activities of the first year of a full-time ethicist in a tertiary military medical center.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health