Hospitals, nursing homes, and home care agencies seeking approval by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) must have a standing mechanism to address ethical issues. Most organizations have chosen to satisfy this with an interdisciplinary ethics committee. The best of these committees are knowledgeable, creative, and effective resources in their institutions. Many are well meaning but lack the information, experience, and skills to negotiate adequately the complex ethical issues that arise in clinical and organizational settings.
Handbook for Health Care Ethics Committees is the first resource to address the myriad responsibilities that ethics committees have, including education, case consultation, and policy development. Through case studies, the authors explore issues such as informed consent and refusal, decision making and decisional capacity, truth telling, decision-making concerns of minors, end-of-life issues, palliative care, justice in and access to health care services, and organizational ethics.
Featuring an eight-chapter curriculum review and discussion of the ethical foundations of health care practice, sample policies and procedures, draft guidelines, and key legal cases, this handbook will be essential reading for every health care ethics committee member.