Pediatric Ethics Program
What You Can Expect From an Ethics Consult
An ethics consult can be requested by you, or by anyone involved in your child’s care. A member of the Ethics Advisory Board who is not otherwise involved with your child’s care will talk with you by phone to understand your concerns and the situation for your child. He or she will also review your child’s medical record and talk with members of your healthcare team to fully understand the ethical issues you are facing. The ethics consultant will help you and your healthcare team think through the relevant ethical issues and identify ethically acceptable options. This often involves meeting together with you and your healthcare team. If you do not feel comfortable meeting in a large group, we will find other ways to facilitate communication, so that you and your healthcare team can understand each other's concerns and develop a mutually acceptable plan.
The final responsibility for decisions about your child's care belongs to you and the healthcare team. An ethics consult supports you and your healthcare team when you must make difficult decisions about your child's treatment. After an ethics consult, the findings and recommendation will be recorded in your child’s medical record, just like any other medical or surgical consult. You and the healthcare team will continue to work together to care for your child and the Ethics Advisory Board will be available for follow-up as needed.