Part 2: Ethics support at Nova Scotia Health

by Library Staff on 2022-09-19T08:30:00-03:00 in Ethics, Nursing, Physicians & Nurse Practitioners | 0 Comments

In part 1 of our post about ethics support at Nova Scotia Health, you learned about the structure for ethics support and the types of support available to staff and physicians. Now, in part 2, we will cover how you access ethics support through Ethics Nova Scotia Health.

Ethics support is available to all staff, health care providers, volunteers, patients, and families at Nova Scotia Health. Our hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 -4:30pm.

To request ethics support:

  1. Visit our corporate website.
  2. On the website, click on the appropriate link to access a request form. Download the form and fill it in.
  3. Submit the completed form by email to the relevant zone ethics contact.


What to expect when you request an ethics consultation

Ethics requests are confidential. Health care team members, patients, and families do not need permission from the treating physician to request an ethics consultation.

Once you have submitted your request, an ethics administrator or a member of the ethics consultation team will contact you. If you have not filled in a request form, you may be asked to provide more information about the situation. We will then triage your request. If we determine that another service may be better able to address the issue, we will do our best to direct you to the relevant service.

Ethics consultation support can take different forms, depending on the issue and the situation:

  • In some cases, an informal conversation with a health care ethicist may help clarify the ethical concerns and the tensions between values.
  • In other cases, it may be useful to involve several team members in a meeting (online or in-person) with Ethics, to discuss the team's concerns.
  • You may choose to involve Ethics in a more formal meeting with the medical team, patients, and family members.

During your ethics consultation, we can help you:

  • Work through complex decisions
  • Identify tensions between the values in the situation
  • Explore possible options and the consequences of those options

NOTE Ethics does not take over the decision-making authority.

Online ethics resources and tools

Ethics Nova Scotia Health resources: https://www.cdha.nshealth.ca/ethics-support/ethics-resources

Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network (NSHEN): www.nshen.ca

Clinical ethics resources:

Resources for health policy developers and reviewers:

  • Ethics and Health Policy: The Nuts & Bolts is a general guide on developing health policies. It guides you through the various stages of health policy development. NOTE This guide is written for a general audience. It does not speak to the specifics of Nova Scotia Health's policy development and approval processes.

Ethics education resources:

If you have any general inquiries about Ethics Nova Scotia Health, please contact czethics@nshealth.ca. To request ethics support, please reach out to Ethics Support for your health zone: https://www.cdha.nshealth.ca/ethics-support/contact.

Lisbeth Witthoefft Nielsen

Ethics Resource Coordinator, Ethics Nova Scotia Health, Central Zone

with the Ethics Collaborations Team
Department of Bioethics, Dalhousie University


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