Transforming from an Ethics Committee to an Ethics Program

The term “ethics committee” may conjure up images of being called before a group whose role is to decide what is right and wrong. That’s not how our ethics team operates at Kennedy Krieger. To help clarify how we support the Kennedy Krieger community, we are repositioning our ethics team as an “Ethics Program” instead of an ethics committee. Our program embraces our role as facilitators for the treatment and educational communities at the Institute.

At Kennedy Krieger, staff members, volunteers, and families work tirelessly to bring out the potential in patients and students, putting careful thought into decisions that affect care. Despite this intensity, or maybe because of it, we sometimes find ourselves struggling to find the best course of action. In these instances, an ethics consultation can help.

Ethics consultations offer the opportunity for an outside perspective from a team skilled in facilitating discussions of ethical considerations. Through these confidential consultations, each participant can find ways to integrate their moral stance and values as they solve sometimes sticky problems. Facilitators within the Ethics Program are colleagues and community members who are experienced in resolving moral and ethical challenges.

What does this mean for you?

Our Ethics Program would like your input regarding your challenges or those you see around you. Do you ever find that choosing the right thing can be harder than doing it? What happens when you try to achieve a treatment goal but are prevented by another’s choices? What do you do when you get a feeling of “that’s not right” when fulfilling your role here?