BHB Goes Back to Ethics Basics

(Hamilton, Bermuda – Friday 1 November): Bermuda Hospitals Board’s Ethics Committee is going ‘Back to Basics’ next week. The campaign will promote ways the Ethics Committee can support patients, families and healthcare workers through difficult decisions, as well as the role of ethics at both the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI).

The ‘Ethics: Back to Basics’ campaign launches Monday 4 November 2013 as part of Ethics Awareness Week. The public is invited to visit the lobbies at KEMH and MWI throughout the week to learn more. Members of the Ethics Committee will be available to discuss this subject and their role within the organisation from 9.30am to 11am on Monday 4 November.

Dr Elaine Campbell, Chair of the Ethics Committee, comments: “People may not realise that if they are facing a difficult decision related to their care, they can request a consultation with the Ethics Committee by calling 291-HOPE. For example, they might need input with end-of-life or feeding concerns. The Ethics Committee is not here to make these decisions, but to guide the public help people through the process of making fully informed, ethical choices, often during very difficult times.”

Dr Chantelle Simmons, Chair of the Ethics Education Subcommittee, adds: “Ethics is about doing the right things for the right reasons. We hope to inspire people to consider the use of ethical processes in our mental health and medical hospitals. Whether you are making a decision about your own care options in the face of a difficult diagnosis or supporting a loved one, the Ethics Committee can provide input.”

Other Ethics Awareness Week events include learning lunches for healthcare professionals and a symposium for Committee members, both presented by Dr. Christy Simpson, Head of the Bioethics Department at Dalhousie University in Halifax. More than a decade ago, BHB’s Ethics Committee formed a relationship with Dalhousie University’s Department of Bioethics, which continues to provide assistance and training in ethical matters.

The BHB Ethics Committee is comprised of about 20 members, including clinical, administrative and community representatives. It offers consultations to patients, families and healthcare professionals when dealing with ethical issues around medical care. The Ethics Committee can be contacted for a consultation by members of the public by calling 291-HOPE (4673) and leaving name and contact details.

BHB’s Ethics Committee promotes awareness of ethical concerns at both hospitals, endorses medical ethics education, provides an ethics consultation service and produces guidelines on prominent issues that can help healthcare professionals consider all aspects of controversial decisions. The Committee also reviews medical research proposals on request, and reviews hospital policies to ensure they are ethically sound.

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