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Ethics Committee

What We Do

The Ethics and Human Values Committee is available to provide ethical consultations. A consultation with the committee can be requested by a patient, family members, a patient’s friends or any health provider directly involved with a patient’s care.

The Ethics and Human Values Committee has monthly meetings which include:

  • ongoing self-education on current ethical issues affecting health care
  • development of educational activities for the communities served by St. Joseph Medical Center
  • review and discussion of cases
  • review and development of policies regarding possible ethical concerns, both clinical and organizational.

For further information, contact us at 816-943-2680


How We Serve

The committee serves those who need a forum with consultation, discussion, support and assistance in facing choices or resolving ethical conflicts. Questions such as “What is the right thing to do?” are very real questions in these times of increasingly high-tech specialized medical care. Dilemmas often arise when there are conflicts of values, obligations and loyalties among patient, family, clinical staff, nursing home or health care facility.

The Ethics and Human Values Committee acts in its advisory capacity according to the mission and values of St. Joseph Medical Center, the Ethical and Religious Directives, and in maintaining Catholic identity for Catholic Health Facilities. If you wish to discuss any clinical and/or organizational questions or issues with the Ethics and Human Values Committee, please tell your doctor, nurse, chaplain, social worker or member of administration. Following a request, a representative of the committee will meet with the individual requesting the consultation.

If a formal consultation with the committee is appropriate, either the whole committee or part of it will be convened. The patient’s family and those health care providers involved in the care of the patient will be invited. We believe through open and honest discussion at this meeting, the ethical concerns involved in the care of the patient can be addressed and satisfactorily resolved.

While the committee does not have decision-making authority, it can make recommendations regarding the care of the patient.

Who We Are

The Ethics and Human Values Committee is comprised of at least

  • two to four physicians
  • at least two nurses
  • non-clinical hospital staff member
  • representative from long-term care facilities
  • an administrator
  • member of the board of directors or board of counselors
  • two representatives from the community
  • chaplain
  • representative of our home health organization
  • philosopher

The committee is advisory in nature. Guiding the deliberations will be the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities.

For more information on St. Joseph’s Ethics and Human Values Committee, call Administration at 816-943-2680.

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