Identification of your Ethical Needs

In the spirit of promoting the culture and mission of each organization, part of the ethics support available is sustained assistance in the identification of your ethical needs as a unique organization to develop integrated ethics programming that is reflective of your reality and available ethics resources. The identification of ethical needs is multi-layered, from individual patient/client/resident and staff ethical concerns, to organizational ethical concerns.

Ethics Consultation Services (ECS)

ECS are services that aim to help patients/clients, families, employees and other stakeholders resolve ethical concerns in your organization. All health care organizations should support and ensure timely access to ECS. This recommendation aligns with Accreditation Canada requirements. The goal of ECS is to improve health care quality by facilitating the resolution of ethical concerns.  Ethics consultation may be performed by an individual ethics consultant, an ethics committee, an ethics consultation team or a mix of all three models. The level of support will depend on the needs of your organization and the circumstances of the requested consultation.

      1. If necessary, support can be provided to help you develop an ethics committee. The Regional Ethicist can serve as an advisor for that committee or serve on the committee.
      2. A Regional Ethicist can provide ethics consultation as an individual ethics consultant on a case-by-case basis.

Organizational Ethics Support

Effective mechanisms for addressing ethical concerns depend on leadership support, expertise, time, resources and formal policies.

      1. Support can be provided for the development or revisions of your ethics related policies including, for example, policies pertaining to the terms of references of your ethics committee or the process of how to request an ethics consult.
      2. Support can be provided on how your ECS should be documented, tracked or made available for educational purpose.
      3. Support can be provided to revise, develop, implement and make known your clinical and organizational ethical framework; again, an Accreditation requirement.
      4. Support can be provided to revise or develop an organizational approach to ethics that is responsive and meets standards of access and accountability.
      5. Support in refining the values and mission statement of the organization can be provided. 

Capacity-Building and Ethics Education

To positively impact the environment and culture of any organization, capacity-building and ethics education have to be planned and ongoing.

      1. Organizations will be able to send one member to a 10-session annual Ethics Education program.
      2. Additional education sessions can be provided on a case-by-case basis on different topics such as moral distress, community ethics, end-of-life issues, living at risk, boundaries setting, value-centered care, ethics and elderly care, and organizational ethics. Additional topics can be identified in collaboration with the organization.
      3. Out-reach sessions and introductions to ethics can be organized to make the ECS known throughout the organization.
      4. The existence of and instructions on how to use the clinical and organizational ethical framework can be organized.
      5. Support in the preparation of educational materials can be provided (e.g. ethics services brochures).

Accreditation Support

Expertise and support in meeting Accreditation ethical standards can be provided at all levels, from Governance to front-line staff.

Prevention and Support Groups

With the identification of ethical gaps by different mechanisms that can collect and review ethical concerns, additional support can be provided to address recurrent problems. Additional ethics programming and bridges will also come from the identification of similar regional ethical concerns that affect different organizations (e.g. advance care planning, ALS, waiting lists, etc.). Lines of communication and support can be developed.


*All services offered by the Champlain Centre for Health Care Ethics are available Monday-Friday, between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Services outside of these normal business hours may be available, but must be requested on a case-by-case basis.