St Mary’s General Hospital Ethics Committee

Terms of Reference

1. Purpose

Within the framework of the mission of St. Joseph’s Heathcare and encompassing the strategic focus on patient and family centered care and a healthy work environment for staff and physicians, the St. Mary’s General Hospital Ethics Committee will:

  • Provide an interprofessional  forum where clinical and organizational ethics issues may be addressed
  • Provide ongoing education or information to administration or professional staff on any ethical component of changing legislation or situations in clinical practice.
  • Provide a forum for development or review of policies, procedures or guidelines that have an ethical component.
  • Support and foster the integration of an ethical approach to clinical practice and decision making at SMGH.
  • To provide support to patients and their families as requested or required by the clinical team

2. Responsibilities

  • to encourage and support the integration of clinical ethics within St. Mary’s.
  • To keep committee members abreast of pertinent current or emerging ethical issues through review of literature and open discussion.
  • To support and promote ongoing dialogue  between the Ethics Committee members and  St. Mary’s medical and hospital staff by:
    • being responsive to suggestions by medical and hospital staff for education related to clinical ethics
    • identifying current ethical issues within the hospital that require analysis and discussion
    • offering prompt and clear comments on issues relating to policies, procedures and guidelines
    • informing hospital and medical staff of the existence of the ethics service that is available for consultation

Examples of the ways the committee will fulfill these responsibilities include but are not limited to: bioethical rounds, both hospital based and clinical unit based, incorporating the clinical ethicist into the health care team for patient rounds, conferences and workshops or in-services and collaborating with hospital staff on clinical and organizational issues, education to Hospital Board Members.

For More information on the Ethics Committee or ethics education events contact:

Stephanie Pearsall, Director, Professional Practice and Patient Safety Officer
St. Mary’s General Hospital
519-749 -6578 ext. 1406