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The Center for Clinical Ethics

There may come a time when you or a member of your family need assistance making difficult healthcare decisions for yourself or a loved one. Often there is no clear right or wrong answer, which can create dilemmas for the patient, family, physicians and the entire healthcare team. The Ethics Committee at Westerly Hospital has experienced consultants available to help with unresolved ethical concerns.

We offer patients and families guidance concerning:

  • Uncertainty as to who should make health care decisions for patients too sick to speak for themselves
  • Religious or cultural beliefs that conflict with medical treatment
  • Disagreements over starting, continuing, or ending medical treatments
  • End of life issues, such as the removal of a feeding tube
  • Decisions about organ donation
  • Questions about ethical policies or guidelines
  • Concerns about advance directives
  • The rights of a patient

The Ethics Committee at Westerly Hospital is one of six Ethics Committees that together comprise the Yale New Haven Health System Center for Clinical Ethics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should someone make a request?

An ethics consultation may help whenever it is difficult to choose the best care or course of action for you or a family member. A consultation can provide education and guidance to the hospital and medical staff that they may use in their decision-making.

Who can make a request?

Patients, family members, and any member of the healthcare team may request a consultation. Medical staff may assist interested patients or family members with making a request.

What happens when a request is made?

When a consultation is requested:

  • A coordinator will gather some basic information from you and explain our procedures.
  • A consultant will reach out to discuss the case with the patient, family, and medical team, and will usually schedule a family meeting where all stakeholders can discuss the case together.
  • Next, the committee will meet privately to discuss recommendations.
  • The recommendations will be transmitted to the attending physician or medical team who is responsible for communicating the findings to the other involved parties. The recommendations are advisory only. Final decisions are made by the patient, family, and the health care team.
  • The outcome of the consultation will be documented in the patient’s chart.

How do I make a request?

To request a consultation with the Center for Clinical Ethics call the number provided for your delivery network on this webpage, or ask your nurse to call for you.

 

These lines are staffed during regular business hours. Messages left at other times will be returned during regular business hours.

 

Bridgeport Hospital

Eileen Curley, Administrative Assistant for the Dept. of Anesthesiology
(203) 384-3801

Dr. Lisa Caramico
203-258-9926

Dr. Mary Lou Gaeta
203-395-8364

 

Greenwich Hospital

Call the hospital operator and ask to speak to the Nursing Administrative Coordinator and ask for an Ethics Consult. You will receive a call back as soon as possible from a member of the Ethics Team.
(203) 863-3000

 

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital

Palliative Care Office
(860) 442-0711, ext. 2702

 

Westerly Hospital

(401) 316-4134
or the hospital operator

 

Yale New Haven Hospital

Adult Bioethics (both campuses)
(203) 789-3299

 

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital

Please call to request an ethics consult
203-785-4651

 

If you have additional questions about the Center for Clinical Ethics, you can contact the Center directly:

(203) 789-3299
[email protected]

Contact Us

Westerly Hospital

These lines are staffed during regular business hours. Messages left at other times will be returned during regular business hours.

(401) 316-4134
or the hospital operator

If you have additional questions about the Center for Clinical Ethics, you can contact the Center directly:

(203) 789-3299
[email protected]