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Ethics Consultation Service

If you are unsure about choosing the best treatment for yourself or a family member, or if you need help in resolving a disagreement about patient care, a consultation with the Ethics Consultation Service is available.   

The Ethics Consultation Service (ECS) is provided by the Medical Ethics Advisory Committee to assist patients, families, surrogates, health care providers or other parties in addressing uncertainty or conflict regarding ethical issues that emerge in healthcare.

When ethical questions arise or when support is needed in making difficult choices, any patient, family member or guardian, health professional or others with a legitimate interest in a patient is encouraged to request the assistance of an ethics consultation. This service is provided by UAMS at no charge.

This is an advisory service.  The options presented by the consultation service are neither institutionally nor legally binding.  The ECS follows a strict confidentiality code in its consultation process.  For more on the kind of help the ECS can provide, click here.

To Request an Ethics Consultation

Please dial pager #501-405-8134. This number is answered from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Please call the hospital operator 686-7000 for an emergency consultation

What Happens When A Consult is Requested

The person requesting the consult will be contacted by the ECS.  The requestors name can be kept confidential.  

An ECS member reviews each request to see what type of consultation is best suited to a particular situation.  Frequently a family meeting is held to clarify concerns, questions or goals of care.  The consultant does not judge the quality of  patient care or make decisions.  They help to facilitate a discussion of the situation and clarify the issues from an ethical perspective. (For detailed procedures click here.)

                         

Ethics Consultation Services Definitions

Conversation 

 

A verbal exchange of ideas and opinions regarding a problem or area of interest that does not meet the requirements of or qualify as a ethics consultation. For more on ethics consultations, see below. For more on ethics conversations, click here.

Consultation

 

A formal process conducted by the lead consultant that includes all involved parties as deemed appropriate. For more about the consultation process, click here.

Consultant

 

A trained member of the ECS qualified to participate in an ethics consultation

Lead Consultant

 

A member of the ECS designated to take and respond to calls

If you have a question about an ethical problem or our service and would like a personal reply, please click here.

  • s in a consult
  •  number. 

  •  Clinical Ethics Consults are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

  • Ward or clinic supervisors will help if a problem in access arises.

  •  service member will return the call.  Time sensitive situations will receive immediate attention. 

  • If someone other than the patient and/or the patient's attending physician initiated the request, the patient and/or the attending physician are notified  that a consult has been requested.

  • The ESC member will review the request to see what type of consultation is best suited to a particular situation; a conversation or a consultation.  The ECS do not judge the quality of patient care or make decisions.  They help to facilitate a discussion of the situation and clarify the issues from an ethical perspective.