Ethics Services and Education

Why Ethics Education?

Only about 5% of health professionals performing ethics consultations across the country report having received formal clinical ethics training. Most rely on peers or others who have learned by doing. Many report moral distress due to being ill-equipped and unprepared for situations they face. Most ethics committees – typically comprised of volunteers with little or no ethics background – lack sufficient time or resources to invest in clinical ethics training.

Yet, virtually all health professionals – doctors, nurses, chaplains, social workers, and allied health professionals – face ethical issues in their interactions with patients and families. More than 55 case studies illustrate how diverse and traumatic these issues can be.

Ignoring the need to respond to ethical dilemmas, family crises, moral failure in the duty of care, and inadequate policy heightens risks for institutions and increases likelihood of professional burnout. Patient autonomy, informed consent and shared decision making are fundamental to ensuring patients’ rights. These tenets rely on sound ethical frameworks and professional conduct in delivering safe, responsible and accountable healthcare. 

Providing better patient-centered care, especially in critical situations, is hindered by the ethics educational gap.  By building a sound ethical framework — in patient autonomy, informed consent, and shared decision making—can health professionals ensure the rights of patients.

Explore Your Ethics Education Options

A recent study found that when healthcare organizations receive ethics and consultation education, these skills can:

  • Increase patient satisfaction
  • Improve employee morale
  • Enhance productivity
  • Conserve resources, avoiding costs
  • Improve accreditation reviews
  • Reduce ethics violations and risk of lawsuits
  • Sustain corporate integrity, and
  • Safeguard the organization’s future

    The Center for Practical Bioethics offers ethics education to healthcare professionals through workshops, trainings, symposia, consultations, written and online materials, and even participating or leading institutional ethics committee meetings.

    Recent Annual Reports

    Ethics Committee Consortium

    For Organizations and Individuals
    Corporate Integrity and Relations

    Bioethics Education

    For Organizations and Individuals


    Ethics Direct & Ethics+ Services

    Clinical Ethics Services: Improving Outcomes and Performance
    Achieve ethics integration and proficiency with…


    The Center can participate in clinical ethics consults on topics ranging from shared decision making, advance care planning, discharge planning, resource allocation, professionalism, organ donation, end of life care, and more.


    The Center can join and help facilitate your organizational ethics committees, and advise and present ethics insights to the staff on quality improvement as well as risk management.  Our Center staff can provide these services by conduct staff trainings, lectures and assisting in policy development.


    The Center can support your efforts in protecting human subjects, including service on Institutional Review Boards and non-scientific review panels and learning health system activities.


    The Center can assist with advance care planning and POLST/Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences (TPOPP) trainings including those targeted staff and employees.

    Benefits of
    Ethics Services

    • Improved employee retention / performance/reduce stress
    • Improved health outcomes / patient satisfaction
    • Increase compliance and safety
    • Proactively manage risk
    • The Joint Commission / Accrediting Body


    • Risk Management
    • Quality Improvement
    • Compliance & Safety
    • Human Resources & Professional Development
    • Mission Effectiveness
    • Clinical Care/Patient Outcomes

    Choose the Service That's Right for You:

      CPB* Direct Services CPB Ethics+

    Ethics Committee & Education
           Interactive Webinars
           Skill Development Workshops
           Institutional Policy Development
           Monthly Ethics Dispatch Communication Tool
           Ethics Committee Consortium
                     Network of Ethics Committees

                     Online Discussion
                     Policy Library
                     Retrospective Case Review
           Free Case Studies Library

    Program Support- Advance Care Planning and Medical Decision Making
           National Healthcare Decision Day Materials
           Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences
           Seriously Illness Care Planning (Ariadne Labs)
           Caring Conversations® - community and workplace

           Institutional Review Board (IRB)
           Learning Health Systems
           Support for research design and review

    Center Community Services
           Consumer Education, Navigation, Crisis Counseling
           Grass Roots Advocacy
           Public Policy – Responding to officials’ requests for review/guidance
           Arts and Humanities
                     Narrative ethics/literature
                     Performing and visual arts
           Public Events and Symposia, Public Lectures, Faculty

    A Credentialed Healthcare Ethics Consultant on your team working directly with your clinicians and staff 

    Clinical Ethics Consultation
           Conduct inpatient consultations in real time
           Actively work on policy and ethics integration
           Lead training and education
           Preform consultation case reviews
           Review patient records
           Conduct face-to-face meetings
           Develop case recommendations
           Evaluate case consultations

    Rely on Ethics Advisory Support 
           Validation and assessment
           Gathering essential information
           Moral Distress
    Participate in Ethics Rounds / Grand Rounds for Clinicians  

    * CPB: Center for Practical Bioethics

    Improve Ethics Performance

    The CPB ethicist helps build internal organizational ethics capacity over time. As advisory support decrease with internal competency, consultation services increase and overall ethics performance improves.

    Included in Your Ethics Services:
    Ethics Dispatch and Ethics Committee Consortium

    Monthly Ethics Dispatch

    The Center’s monthly Ethics Dispatch fills the skill development needs of health professionals and providers from mid-career volunteers to new students. Each issue focuses on a particular topic relevant to field of medical ethics, addressing it from different approaches and perspectives. 

    The goals:

    • Educate and elevate the effectiveness of Ethics Committees and their members
    • Furnish a turnkey resource for Ethics Committee leaders, challenged with daily routines, allowing little time for content development.

    The Ethics Dispatch includes four educational elements, each addressing the monthly topic in different ways; 

    Hot Topic – The Center’s clinical ethics staff focus on an ethical issue impacting providers regionally or within the field while providing guidance. This is a researched deep dive that frames the issue in understandable language from an industry perspective with practical recommendations. Previous issues have addressed a range of concerns, from life-saving interventions following suicide attemptsto public health concerns due to anti-vaccination decisions. 

    Bioethics in the News – Web links to the most recent and relevant stories in the news pertaining to issues of concern for ethics committee members.


    Case Study – Each issue includes a case study that illustrates the topic of the month in a real-life situation.

    Ethical Musings – In this section, the author takes a more personal approach to presenting the underlying philosophical insights relevant to the monthly topic. This is presented through a philosophical framework based on arguments to add deeper understanding of the clinical ethics topic. 

    More Information

    See our Ethics Services brochure

    Contact Ryan Pferdehirt, D.Bioethics, HEC-C
    (816) 979-1350

    Center for Practical Bioethics

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