Ethics Services - a resource for all

Mar 22, 2018 | News

At the heart of all decision making in health care is the patient. We often struggle with whether their wishes match the treatment options, or whether our goals of care align with their health and wellness hopes and desires. It can be a tricky puzzle, but luckily PHC’s Ethics Services is here to help us navigate these difficult paths.

“For me, it’s about starting with what the patient wants...and I think that’s where we need to start - always,” said Jenny Young, PHC Clinical Ethicist.

As a resource for all of PHC’s staff, physicians, residents, medical students as well as patients/residents and their families, Ethics Services is a wealth of information to help you make decisions about treatment, navigating decisional capacity, and understanding and working within PHC’s policies. As well as clinical situations, Ethics also consults about organizational issues. Over the past four years, PHC’s Ethics Services department has conducted 288 consults, and is on track to conducting 120 in this year alone.

“Ethics at Providence is front and centre. We talk about values and it’s in our mission…I think staff here think about those things. They ask ‘is this the right thing to do?" said Jenny.

In addition to providing PHC with an ethical framework for clinical and organisational issues, Ethics Services has built bridges with Vancouver Coastal Health and created a joint Elder Care Ethics Committee – the first of its kind.

Who contacts Ethics Services?

Anyone can contact Ethics Services when they  are struggling or have questions. Here’s a breakdown of who’s reached out to Ethics Services in the last four years:

  • 33% of the consults were initiated by a physician, resident or medical student
  • 30% by CNLs or a nurse educator
  • 15% by a social worker
  • 11% by administrative staff (patient care managers, directors or department heads)

What is Ethics Services?

Ethics Services is committed to identifying ethical issues, demonstrating how to deal with ethical conflict, assisting with developing procedures and policies that reflect our ethical commitments, and establishing an organizational climate that allows ethical concerns to be raised and fairly considered.

How do I contact them?

Ethics Services welcomes all types of inquiries and involvement; from phone calls to formal team meetings – whatever you would find most useful. Call 604-806-8528 or email

Mission/Values Ethical Framework

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