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Ethics Committee

Our Function

  • Assist with and review cases seen by the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service.
  • Review and develop hospital policies with ethical implications:
    • Does a case seen by the Ethics Consult Service indicate that a hospital policy needs revision or development?
    • Does the Clinical Council recommend that the Ethics Committee review a hospital policy under development?
    • Should the DNR policy be updated?
  • Promote and develop ethics educational activities for ourselves, the University, and our community.
  • Counsel practitioners who are troubled by decisions regarding treatment or nontreatment of patients.
  • Act as an interdisciplinary forum for ethical dilemmas encountered by patients, staff and administration, especially by bringing together accurate information from available sources.

Who May Serve on the Ethics Committee?

The Ethics Committee is an interdisciplinary group. Members may be physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, philosophers, residents, students, therapists, lawyers, administrators, etc. No formal training is required to serve on the committee, but it is expected that those who serve on the committee will disseminate important ethics information to their areas of work, and may bring ethics problems from their areas for discussion.

New Ethics Committee members may be recommended by current members, the Chair of the Ethics Committee, or by the Chief Medical Officer of SMH. The Chief Medical Officer must approve the Ethics Committee roster, and may appoint members as necessary.

Persons interested in joining the committee may contact the Committee Chair, Dr. Richard Demme. If room is available, such persons may visit the ethics committee as "guests."

After a period of attendance, the Chair may submit names of guests for approval to serve on the committee.

Current Members

You may wish to contact an ethics committee member with specific expertise or experience.

Questions About or Concerns for the Ethics Committee?

Please email Dr. Demme.