Ethical choices

What can the Northern Health Ethics Committee do for you?

Facing a difficult health care decision? Help is available for patients, family members and health professionals:

  • What if I'm asked to receive or provide care that compromises my beliefs or values?
  • What's the right care decision for a family member who can no longer express a choice?
  • How can I choose the right thing to do?

The Northern Health Ethics Committees conduct confidential case consultations in response to requests from staff, physicians, patients and their families. The confidential case consultations are conducted following the Northern Health Integrated Ethics Framework and the Northern Health Standards of Conduct

They will offer clarification, assist as a communication vehicle within the care team, provide additional information to assist with decision making and provide space for dialogue and consultation.

How to get help with an ethical decision

There are three different ways to access the Northern Health Ethics Committee. 

Note: Any patient, family member or health care provider can ask the Ethics Committee for help. No referral is needed, and all consultations are completely confidential.

More about the Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee provides support, outlines options, and helps you and the health care team make a decision. Examples:

  • Issues of confidentiality and patient privacy
  • Appropriate levels of medical treatment or intervention
  • When and how issues around death and dying should be addressed
  • Patient autonomy and informed consent
  • Clarification of policy issues and concerns

Who's on the Ethics Committee?

  • Members represent the Regional Director, the Patient Care Quality Officer, clergy, dietitians, doctors, ethicists, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and other interested members of the community. Members serve a two-year term.
  • If you're interested in serving on the Ethics Committee, please fill out a member application.