Ethics Committee

The purpose of the Ethics Committee is to support patients, families and hospital staff in the resolution of ethical issues that may occur in the course of hospitalization care at Lawrence General. The committee provides confidential consultation to the patient, family and medical team on a wide range of problems and decisions that may occur during hospital care.

Who Are the Members of the Ethics Committee?

The members of the Ethics Committee represent a multidisciplinary team with members from the hospital and the community. The physicians and nurses on the committee represent a variety of clinical specialties, such as internal medicine, integrated care, risk management, compliance, palliative care, spiritual care, and community representatives.

When Is an Ethics Consultation Appropriate?

Sometimes patients, families and staff have very difficult choices to make. They can face moral dilemmas and may need to review ethical questions and concerns. Discussions with the Ethics Committee can be helpful and reassuring when confronting a challenging decision.

What Does the Ethics Committee Do?

The main role of the Ethics Committee at Lawrence General Hospital is to review specific, individual patient-care situations and dilemmas. The consultation process is confidential, and aims to assist all those involved in having an open and thoughtful discussion about the patient’s care, and all members of the patient’s health care team are invited to be a part of the conversation. The outcome of the consult is a recommendation about which course of action would be in the patient’s best interests.

Who May Request an Ethics Consultation?

The Ethics Committee is a resource for patients and their families, doctors, nurses or other hospital staff who are concerned about the ethical decision-making process in the care of a patient.

How Does One Access the Ethics Committee?

A member of the Ethics Committee is on-call at all times, and a consultation may be requested by calling the hospital operator, or by calling (978) 683-4000, ext. 5300, and requesting that the Ethics Committee contact you. Be sure to leave a contact number or email as well as the name and location of the patient involved. Once a request is made, the consultation will occur within three days. All emergency consultation will take place within 24-48 hours.