Policy Formation and Review

A second important function of ethics committees is policy formation and review. The type and number of policies that are formulated or reviewed by the ethics committee will vary depending on the nature of the institution, and the authority and responsibility of the ethics committee. For example, a medical-staff-level ethics committee at a major academic medical center may have input on a large number of ethics-related policies. In addition to any policy governing the ethics committee itself, these might include policies governing informed consent, end-of-life decisions (e.g., advance directive and life-sustaining treatment policies), brain death, organ donation and transplant, disclosure of medical mistakes, and so forth. Indeed, the policy formation and review function of ethics committees has developed to the point where a number of "model policy" manuals are available as resources for ethics committees that may be struggling to establish themselves (Aspen Health and Administration Development Group). In addition to these more traditional ethics policy areas, ethics committees are increasingly being asked to give input on organizational ethics issues, especially when these issues may have an impact on patient care (Schyve, Emanuel, Winslade, et al.). The JCAHO ethics standards, for example, extend to organizational ethics issues (e.g., marketing, billing, financial incentives for clinicians, and so forth) and explicitly acknowledge the interdependence of patient rights and organizational ethics (see JCAHO, 2002).

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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