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Ethics services

How can we help you?

Our role is to support you to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical issues. Ethical concerns may include issues related to:

  • Access to Care or Treatment
  • Adherence to Treatment
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Beginning-of-life Care Or End-of-life Care
  • Decision-making capacity
  • Code Status/Level of Care
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Conscientious Objection
  • Disclosure
  • Diversity And Cultural Sensitivity
  • Duty of Care
  • Futility
  • Informed Consent
  • Justice, Equity and Human Rights
  • Living at Risk
  • Medical Assistance in Dying
  • Moral Distress
  • Priority Setting and Resource Allocation
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Respect for Autonomy and Empowerment
  • Substitute Healthcare Decision-Maker
  • Withholding Or Withdrawing of Treatment

Our team

Bethan Everett

Bethan Everett

VGH/UBC Hospitals, GF Strong, George Pearson Centre, Vancouver Community, and VCH Affiliated Sites

Julia Gill

Julia Gill

Coastal sites (North Shore, Sea-to-Sky, Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Bella Coola & Bella Bella) & Richmond

Kristina Smith

Richmond, Coastal (North Shore, Sea-to-Sky, Sunshine Coast & Powell River, Bella Coola & Bella Bella), and VCH Affiliated Sites

 David Migneault

David Migneault
Physician Support Ethicist for all VCH & VCH affiliated sites

Kim Jameson
Ethicist, VCH Ethics Services (maternity leave 10/15/21 to 10/15/22)

Clinical and organizational consultation

We can help by providing consultations with an individual Ethicist, an ethics committee or a small group of its members. This service is free, confidential and available to patients, clients, residents, substitute decision-makers, health care professionals and care providers.

Ethics consultations seek to:

  • Bring clarity as a response to ethical questions. 
  • Assist in understanding ethical terms and concepts. 
  • Identify and help balance various, sometimes conflicting, interests in a particular case. 
  • Assist in developing and evaluating a care plan. 
  • Assist in identifying choices that will lead to the fulfillment of the organization's missions and values.

An ethics consult may be helpful for a range of issues, such as:

  • Addressing discrepancies between clinical judgement and the wishes of patients or their surrogates. 
  • Interpreting patient wishes or advance directives. 
  • Discerning patient wishes or interests when there is no clear advance directive. 
  • Clarifying who the decision-makers are. 
  • Determining the extent of patient confidentiality. 
  • Respecting patient confidentiality. 
  • Resolving tensions related to religious beliefs or cultural backgrounds.
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