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Ethics Consultation

BCH Resource to Help With Difficult Decisions

Boulder Community Health’s Ethics Consultation Service is an excellent resource to help you, your loved ones and your treatment team as you reckon with challenging questions in the midst of hospitalization.

This BCH-provided service is a resource to help you, your loved ones, and your caregivers face difficult decisions involving:

  • Respect for patient and family wishes
  • Treatment choices
  • Comfort and pain control
  • Quality of life
  • Religious or cultural understandings
  • Advance Care Planning
  • End of life issues

If you would like to learn more about the Clinical Ethics Committee or wish to schedule an ethics consultation service, please call 303-543-3171.

Clinical Ethics Team Commitment

In the course of our care, we will focus on what is right and good and in the best interests of our patients. We will promote and defend human dignity and respect the integrity of human life from its beginnings until death. We will be guided by the highest moral and ethical norms, bu the law, by the values of our community and by the character and policies of Boulder Community Health. We invite all those we serve—our patients, their families and providers of care—to seek an Ethics Consultation whenever ethical questions arise.

Ethics Consultation Service

Any patient, family member or loved one, physician or hospital staff member involved in the patient's care may request an ethics consultation. Simply call 303-543-3171 to request a consultation. Your call will be returned and you will be asked about your concerns. If you request a consultation regarding the care of a patient, the consultant will gather additional information and will then meet with you and other interested parties, as soon as possible. The consultant will make the arrangements and notify participants of the time and place of the consultation.

Who Can Attend the Consultation?

The consultant, usually with other members of the consult team, will guide the process and may invite physicians and other professionals involved in the case. You may invite anyone you choose. A smaller group often works best. Ideally, participants should be knowledgeable of the facts and be aware of the patient's wishes and best interests.

What Happens During the Consultation?

The consultation begins with a review of the pertinent medical facts and your consultants will facilitate a discussion of the participant's views, questions and concerns. They will then try to shed light on the ethical principals or norms as well as on legal considerations and hospital policies affecting treatment approaches. The consultants will then try to clarify the core issues and will make recommendations toward a reasonable resolution.

The ethics consultants will not make or impose decisions on the participants. Rather, their role is to enable others to move forward with the benefits of experienced ethical insight, clarity and compassionate interest in their concerns.

What You Should Know About Ethics Consultations

  • There is no charge for this service
  • The recommendations of the consultants will become part of the patient’s medical record
  • The consultation, like all medical treatment, is confidential
  • Further consultation may always be held at your request
  • The hospital will provide referrals to appropriate outside resources at your request