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Your cultural, spiritual, and religious beliefs are at the center of your decisions about healthcare. Our chaplains have specialized training in understanding, supporting, and advocating for your beliefs and values. As part of the healthcare team, they help to ensure that your values, goals and beliefs are included in discussions about the medical care you are receiving.
Chaplains are also skilled in helping you plan for future medical care. They are happy to help you as you consider how your goals, values and beliefs might affect your choices about your treatment.
A chaplain serves on the hospital's Biomedical Ethics Committee to represent moral and religious values as ethical concerns are discussed.
A chaplain can help when you are:
What is Biomedical Ethics?
Biomedical ethics is the study of problems that sometimes arise in patient care. For example, a person might be too sick to make decisions about treatment and family members might disagree about what should be done. Sometimes a person is unsure about the right thing to do and wants to talk about the options with someone who has studied about these things. Sometimes a person needs an advocate to be sure the care he/she receives is based on his/her values and beliefs.
Why do we have this committee?
Who serves on the Biomedical Ethics Committee?
The committee has people with different kinds of training so that many viewpoints and thoughts will be included in discussions. The Martha Jefferson committee includes nurses, doctors, administrators, chaplains, social workers, pharmacists, and community representatives such as lawyers and faith leaders.
What is an ethics consultation?
With the permission of the patient or her/his decision maker, trained members of the Biomedical Ethics committee facilitate conversations about difficult decisions. They review the case, discuss the choices for care, and help everyone involved seek the best decision for the patient. They help to identify, analyze and resolve the ethical conflicts. The goals of the consultation are:
Trained ethics consultants are on call at all times.
Who may request an ethics consultation?
Any patient, family member or Martha Jefferson Hospital staff member involved in the care of the person may request an ethics consult.
How do I request an ethics consultation?
You may ask any staff member to contact the consultation team for you.