Ethics Consultation

GBMC respects patient and family dignity and self-determination. We acknowledge your right to fully participate in decisions that affect your medical treatment and we want to respect and follow your wishes as best as we can. Occasionally, you and your physicians are faced with difficult choices. In general, decisions are made through conversations with the patient, family, physicians and other caregivers, but when the patient's wishes are unknown, the decisions become harder. Then decisions must be based on what the patient is believed to have wanted for themselves, and what is medically reasonable and recommended.

Most issues resolve over time in discussions with all the parties concerned. However, when there are lingering difficulties and conflicts, the Ethics Committee may be contacted.

Ethics consultation is a service that facilitates discussion between patient, family, physicians, nurses and other involved persons faced with deep concerns or conflicts over patient care decisions. The ethics consultation is meant to help you or your family in making difficult choices. The Committee provides guidance and offers opinions and suggestions to resolve disputes regarding care; however, the decision will ultimately be made by you, your family and your physician.

The Committee consists of representatives from various clinical and administrative departments of the hospital, as well as members of the surrounding community. Nurses, physicians, a social worker, the chaplain, an attorney, an administrator, a layperson and a clergyperson from the community are some of the members that make up the committee. Ever member has been trained in ethical decision-making and had many years of experience in dealing with such challenges and questions.

Ethical questions and concerns arise over time from clinical situations, and rarely present as emergencies. If you have a request, please call the Medical Staff Office during the business day on weekdays at 443-849-2373 and ask for Linda Randle. If you feel that you have an emergency and cannot wait until Monday, you may call the hospital operator at 443-849-2000 to have Dr. Frederick Weinstein contacted. You may also ask any member of your health care team to initiate the consultation process on your behalf.

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