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The Center for Clinical Ethics

There are times when questions and options about medical care and treatment pose dilemmas for patients, families, physicians and staff. Often there is no clear right or wrong answer. The Center for Clinical Ethics has experienced consultants available to help with unresolved ethical concerns.

About the Center for Clinical Ethics

The Center for Clinical Ethics was formed to provide confidential, ethical advice to patients, family members and hospital staff dealing with difficult healthcare decisions for themselves and for others. The Center for Clinical Ethics includes 6 different Ethics Committees that provide ethical guidance at the different delivery networks within the Yale New Haven Health System. Each Ethics Committee includes medical physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, chaplains, bioethicists, and non-Yale New Haven Health community members bound by legal confidentiality agreements to protect patient and family privacy.

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

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

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
(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]