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Ethics Consultations at RIC

Patients, family members and clinicians sometimes encounter situations that create moral distress or conflict as they experience illness, impairment and disability. Questions about values, healthcare options and individual beliefs frequently arise in the course of rehabilitation. At RIC, we are committed to creating an atmosphere that encourages conflict resolution, value exploration and informed decision-making. The ethics consultation process can be helpful during times of stress because it ensures everyone's concerns are heard, clarifies the acceptable range of treatment and care options, and suggests possible solutions.

There is no charge to patients or staff for ethics consultations at RIC.

Informal ethics consultation: Any involved party may contact an ethics consultant to talk through a clinical ethics concern at any time without involving others on the team or providing specific patient information. Informal consultations are not documented in the medical record.

Formal ethics consultation: A formal consultation will notify the patient’s attending physician and would typically include a review of medical records as well as discussions with other team members and/or the patient and family. Patients and/or legally authorized representatives will also be informed if their participation is required. Formal ethics consultations will be documented in the patient’s medical record.

The program also has a specialized ethics resource center, located on the ground floor of RIC's main hospital, which is accessible to all RIC employees, patients and family members. Feel free to call or visit if you would like to explore a particular question or topic.

Who Can Request an Ethics Consultation?

Any patient, family member or member of the treatment team may speak with an ethics consultant at RIC. The attending physician will only be notified when a formal ethics consultation request is made.

How do I Request an Ethics Consultation?

Ethics consultations are requested by contacting the Donnelley Ethics Program (DEP) at (312) 238-1885 or 312-238-1335. Requests will be responded to within one business day.

RIC's Ethics Consultants

The ethics consultation service is run by the Donnelly Ethics Program. Consultants come from a variety of disciplines including medicine, nursing, psychology and social work. The consultants have all met credentialing requirements set by RIC's Chief Medical Officer.

Hospital Ethics Committee

Many ethical concerns that arise in healthcare today are not specific to a single patient’s care but involve broad institutional issues or trends. Ethical questions about hospital policies, allocation of resources, values, research, conflicts of interest and disability in society can be brought to the RIC Hospital Ethics Committee. The Hospital Ethics Committee is coordinated by the Donnelley Ethics Program. Please contact a DEP staff member for more information.

To request a formal or informal ethics consultation at RIC, please call 312-238-1885 or 312-238-1335.