Ethics Committees and the Kansas City Regional Hospital Ethics Committee Consortium
The first hospital ethics committees in the nation were established in the 1970s, and the primary catalyst for their growth was the 1976 Karen Quinlan case. As the case was argued, the judge, who had read an article about ethics committees in the Baylor Law Review, remarked that cases like this belong before ethics committees rather than courts.
In 1992, the Joint Commission – then the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations – mandated that hospitals establish a clinical ethics “mechanism.” The three primary functions of ethics committees, as identified by the American Hospital Association in 1986, are to:
• Educate themselves to “do ethics”
• Develop and review hospital policies
• Consult on complex cases arising in the hospital
In 1986, in response to numerous ethics committee members seeking opportunities to learn from each other, the Center for Practical Bioethics convened the Kansas City Regional Hospital Ethics Committee Consortium, which remains the oldest continuously operating Consortium of its kind in the nation. Through the years, the Consortium has developed guidelines in response to issues raised by members.
The following guidelines were reviewed and updated in 2015:
• Recommendations for the Development of Policies and Procedures for Ethics Committees
• Ethics Committee Case Review Checklist
• Considerations Regarding Withholding/Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment
• Patients’ Rights Guidelines Document
• Guidelines for the Determination of Decisional Incapacity
• Healthcare Narratives from Diverse Communities – A Cultural Diversity Self Assessment Tool for Healthcare Providers
• Healthcare Treatment Decision Making Guidelines for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
• Guidelines for Providing Ethical Care in Difficult Provider-Patient Relationships
• Honoring Do-Not-Resuscitate Order during Invasive Procedures
• Considerations Regarding the Needs of Long-Term Care Residents for Intimate Relationships and Sexual Activity
• Healthcare Treatment Decision Making Guidelines for Minors
The following guidelines are provided for historical reference:
• Ethical Guidelines in Managed Mental Health
• Ethical Issues in Managed Care: Guidelines for Clinicians and Recommendations to Accrediting Organization
• Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection: Ethical Guidelines for Health Care Providers
• Implementation of Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990
• Meditations, William G. Bartholome, with preface by Don Reynolds and foreward by Myra Christopher
• Recommended Policy Guidelines Regarding Medical Futility
The Kansas City Regional Hospital Ethics Committee Consortium is hosting a skills development workshop for ethics committee members.
Ethics Committee Workshop
Wednesday, August 22
1:00pm - 5:00pm, Wednesday, August 22, 2018
North Kansas City Hospital
Health Services Pavilion, Prairieview Teleconference Room
2790 Clay Edwards Drive, MO 64116
This workshop will include a landmark case study presentation, emphasizing important details for ethics committees, and conflict resolution skills development training. For chairs of ethics committees, there will be a working lunch pre-session introducing new resources for raising the profile of your ethics committee in your institution. The event will conclude with a networking reception.
Registration fee is discounted for employees and ethics committee members from member institutions.
The member institutions are: