ETHICS AND PATIENT RIGHTS COMMITTEE
A Committee of the Active Medical Staff of
Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital
Centra Lynchburg General Hospital
Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital
Centra Southside Hospital
When confusion or disagreement regarding the ethical aspects of patient care develops, it is the responsibility of all involved parties to work toward resolution of the problem by improving communication. All members of the health care team should feel a positive responsibility to discuss issues with each other and to listen to distinct points of view in an attempt to clarify and resolve ethical disputes.
The attending physician on a particular case has the right to request a formal case consultation if he/she believes that ethical issues regarding the patient's care are insufficiently clear or if disagreement regarding ethical aspects of a patient’s care persists after initial attempts to resolve the difficulty. In order to initiate a case consultation, the attending physician should complete an order through electronic order entry.
If a patient or patient's surrogate desires a medical ethics consultation, he/she must notify the attending physician of the issue of concern and state the rationale for requesting a consultation. The attending physician is free at that point to deal with the ethical issue on his/her own in an attempt to improve communication and resolve the issue. The attending physician is encouraged to request a consultation from the Ethics and Patient Rights Committee if he/she feels that committee involvement would be helpful. If the attending physician is unwilling to consult the Ethics and Patient Rights Committee and the patient or patient's surrogate is not satisfied by efforts to resolve the difficulty, the patient or patient's surrogate my request an ethics case consultation directly by contacting either the chairperson of the ethics committee or the hospital chaplain.
If any other staff person who is directly involved in the care of the patient feels that an ethics consultation is appropriate, he/she must notify the attending physician of the issue of concern. The attending physician is free at that point to resolve the issue. If resolution is not possible and the attending physician does not wish to initiate a formal ethics consultation, then the concerned staff person may initiate an ethics case consultation directly by contacting the hospital chaplain; on weekends ask the operator to page the chaplain.
All information discussed by the Ethics and Patient Rights Committee will be kept in the strictest confidence consistent with State Law and relevant Regulations.
In this complex world of medical technology, there are times when issues arise that are not simply personal, social, medical or administrative. At times our decisions have ethical implications for us and for those around us. The Medical Staff is committed to the idea that thoughtful, open-minded consideration of ethical issues can help when these matters are unclear or unsettled. In an attempt to provide a framework for reflective conversation, the Medical Staff has developed The Ethics and Patient Rights Committee. The Ethics and Patient Rights Committee provides services in the areas of educational programming, policy development and review, and medical ethics case consultation.
Case consultation teams are made up of at least one physician from the Ethics and Patient Rights Committee, one non-physician from the Ethics and Patient Rights Committee and one additional member.
The Ethics and Patient Rights Committee of the Centra Medical Staff provides services to Patients, Families and Staff in Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital, Lynchburg General Hospital, Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital and Centra Southside Community Hospital. The Committee is designed to include a wide range of perspectives. Members of the committee are chosen to provide a balance of viewpoints with representatives from the following categories:
• Medical Staff of various specialties
• Social Work
For more information about the Ethics and Patient Rights Committee, contact the Department of Pastoral Care at 434-200-4501.