UnityPoint Health-Meriter Ethics Committee
An ethical dilemma arises when there is tension between loyalties, rights, duties, or values – all good in themselves, but not always possible to satisfy. Sometimes the value of preserving life conflicts with other values, such as respecting a patient's wishes, relieving suffering, staying financially solvent, and assuring equal access to healthcare.
These and other questions require that medical, ethical, legal and interpersonal factors be considered. The complexity of these issues often necessitates a collaborative approach.
The Ethics Committee was formed to aid in conflict resolution and help patients, families, physicians, and other healthcare providers make decisions when ethical dilemmas arise. Education of the UnityPoint Health – Meriter community and beyond is another goal of the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee sponsors an ethics conference each fall.
Ethics Committee Facts
- The Ethics Committee membership is broad based, including physicians, nurses, attorneys, social workers, clergy and community members.
- The Ethics Committee's decisions are advisory, not binding.
- The Ethics Committee is available to all patients, their families, the UnityPoint Health – Meriter Medical Staff, and other members of the patient's care team.
- The Ethics Committee is a member of the Medical Ethics Committee Network (MECN) at the Medical College of Wisconsin's Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities.
Requesting an Ethics Consult
For patients, their families or clinicians who wish to request an ethics consult, please contact the Ethics Committee in one of the following ways.
- On weekdays, you may contact the Office of Continuing Professional Development at (608) 417-6386.
- Directly contact the Ethics Committee Chair Dr. Heather Certain
- During weekends or nights, clinicians can contact the NAC at beeper 129-0151.
Contact the Office of Continuing Professional Development at (608) 417-6386 to request copies of the following: