Ethics Consultations Service

Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills offers a free Ethics Consultation Service to assist patients, families, and staff members in making difficult decisions. By providing this service, Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills strives to resolve the ethical dilemmas that modern medicine can present and maintain the highest patient care standards.

As the practice of medicine and medical technology advances to greater heights, healthcare providers and community members are sometimes faced with ethical dilemmas. Instead of asking, “What can be done?” people now often ask, “What should be done?”

Questions like these might come up during a loved one’s terminal illness, or when a patient is considering their options regarding a major medical procedure, or when someone is deciding how to fill out a Living Will. In most cases, there is no simple right or wrong answer, and these situations cannot be addressed with a “cookie cutter” approach. People who work in the arenas of conflict mediation and/or facilitating no doubt know the importance of structure, skill and experience in dealing with complex issues such as these.

The Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills Ethics Committee is not a decision-making body. Instead, it serves to build consensus between the parties concerned with an ethical matter so that all parties can make a decision that is acceptable for them. Our consultants explore the values and concerns of the patient and family to help identify and address the diverse issues that can develop. They draw from the expertise of physicians, nurses, case managers, pastoral care representatives, hospital administration and legal counsel.

When is an Ethics Consultation Needed?

An ethics consultation should be requested when ethical or moral questions arise for:

  • A patient
  • A patient’s family (or surrogate)
  • A care provider

What to Expect from an Ethics Consultation

After a request is submitted, 3 members of the Ethics Committee will assemble within 48 hours (time sensitive situations will receive immediate attention). The Ethics Committee evaluates the current situation, reviews the patient’s social and medical history, and interviews all the parties involved. Options are then provided for consideration, working towards a mutually acceptable resolution.