A recent ethics consult at The Ottawa Hospital in Ontario, Canada involved a victim of domestic violence. “The challenge was that the husband, who had severely beaten the patient, was the patient’s substitute decisionmaker,” recalls Thomas Foreman, DHCE, MA, MPIA, director of the Department of Clinical and Organizational Ethics.
A Clinical Ethics Residency for Nurses has been developed at two large northeastern academic medical centers. One goal is to teach nurses how to be effective advocates for patients whose circumstances, problems, and treatments are ethically complex.
Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee meetings have, on average, 13% of members with financial conflicts of interest, according to a recent study. Researchers analyzed financial conflicts of 1,400 advisory committee members over a 15-year period.1
A recent tragic case involving informed consent obtained from parents with limited English proficiency led to a successful lawsuit against the hospital. The parents were told the risks of surgery for their child included kidney damage, but there was no interpreter in the room.