Educational Seminars Occasionally Offered by
Ethics at Saint Francis
The mission of the Institutional Ethics Committee is fulfilled in part through educational and training events, grand rounds, and workshops. Below are full descriptions of those our consulting service currently provides. Sessions can be modified based on the needs of the institution or group.
More sessions are available upon request.
The Role and
Function of Ethics Committees Powerpoint >>
This session is designed for grand rounds or hospital-wide
education frameworks. It presents what
an ethics committee is not (to distinguish it from other committees such as IRB
or Medical Morals), and it also presents the three essential functions of
institutional ethics committees: education, consultation, and policy
review. Participants design their
own ethics committees, and engage in case study evaluation designed to help them
determine when to call an ethics consult, and how they might participate in
case consultation. The make-up and
function of the ethics committee at the host institution can also be
Consensus on Withholding and Withdrawing Medical Treatment Video >>
This session helps clarify one of the most frequently misunderstood foundations of medical care: the distinction between ordinary and
extraordinary medical treatment. By
focusing on the Three Pillars of Ordinary vs. Extraordinary Treatment,
Killing vs. Allowing to Die, and Privacy, Liberty and Autonomy, this
presentation helps healthcare providers, patients, and family members navigate
through the important question of when it is legally and ethically permissible
to withhold or withdraw medical treatment.
Consent: Substituted Judgment or the Squeaky Wheel? Powerpoint >>
This interactive session is designed for all who are
involved in the consent negotiation with patients or surrogate
decision-makers. The didactic segment
focuses on key components of informed consent such as capacity, disclosure,
comprehension, and voluntariness, as well as some of the common pitfalls healthcare providers confront in this process.
The application segment allows participants to model and critique
informed consent negotiations.
The Nuts and Bolts
of Ethics Consults
This session focuses on the actual process of ethics consultation. As such it is designed for those who are
actively involved in clinical ethics consultation, or those members of the
hospital staff who are considering getting involved in case consultation. Experience in the role, function, and
framework of clinical ethics is preferable.
The didactic session focuses on essential facets of ethics
consultation, as well as the process for documenting consultations within the
patient’s chart. The interactive session presents a role play of ethics consultation which participants can
critique, as well as participant mock consultation in actual cases. This session pairs well as a follow-up to
the Role and Function of Ethics Committees session.
for Decision-Making in a Pandemic
This session focuses on the establishment of an ethical
matrix for decision-making in the event of a pandemic. It also focuses on algorithms and frameworks
for allocation of scarce resources in a pandemic event. Participants take part in a simulated
pandemic exercise where ethical frameworks and algorithms are implemented in
a crisis situation, with participants assuming various roles including those of patients,
community members, healthcare providers, and review committee members.
Directives: The Beginning of the Conversation Powerpoint >>
This session is designed for all within the healthcare
setting who are involved in discussing advance directives (AD’s) with
patients. It can also be adapted as an informational session and presentation for nursing homes, churches, Veteran’s
homes, or community outreach organizations.
The didactic portion of this session discusses the purpose of an advance
directive and how it is used in the clinical setting, as well as the different
types of advance directives - living will and healthcare proxy, or combined
forms. It also focuses on ethical
frameworks which guide advance directives, and methods for discussing goals
of care with patients. The interactive
session involves participants in crafting their own advance directive, and
discussing AD’s with patients.
The ERDs and Issues
at the Origins and End of Life
Designed specifically for Catholic Health Care Services,
this session focuses on key areas of the Ethical
and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (5th Ed.)
(ERDs). It presents the framework of the
ERDs as rooted in the dignity of the person, and the right of patients to
make decisions regarding care. It addresses the understanding and application of directives, focusing on origin-of-life issues such as genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, prenatal
diagnosis and treatment, and abortion, as well as those that guide decisions on
end-of-life care issues such as physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia,
artificial nutrition, hydration and ventilation, medical futility, and organ
donation. Participants are provided with case studies and asked to apply
the ERDs to these cases.
Bioethics: Privacy, Autonomy, Justice, Beneficence, and Nonmaleficence
This presentation focuses on the foundational virtues of
healthcare ethics, which are often used as a framework to guide ethical
decisions in the clinical setting. These
terms will be defined and applied to issues in heath care. Following the didactic session, participants
will be asked to apply these virtues to case studies, and to resolve cases
where virtues seem to conflict.
Keeping the Bucket
Full: Spirituality for Health Care Providers Powerpoint >>
Healthcare providers are often thrown into life-or-death
situations on a daily basis. This can
take its toll on one’s personal life and spirituality. How does the nurse whose patient died last
night go home and get some sleep? How
does the social worker who comforted the grieving spouse avoid burnout from
helping everyone with their cares and concerns?
How does the doctor who has lost the sense of purpose in her work
because of all the insurance hassles regain a sense of joy in her
vocation? This session can’t answer
those questions, but it is designed to help healthcare providers develop some
tools to 'keep their spiritual bucket full,' and to balance work and home, life
and death, joy and sorrow.
Information about Advance Directives
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services
National Catholic Bioethics Center
Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University
Resources for Discussing Goals of Care with Family and Health Care Providers