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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


  1. Tolchin B, Oladele C, Galusha D, Kashyap N, Showstark M, Bonito J, Salazar MC, Herbst JL, Martino S, Kim N, Nash KA, Nguemeni Tiako MJ, Jubanyik K. Racial Disparities in the SOFA Score Among Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19. PLoS One 2021;16(9):e0257608.
  2. Roy S, Showstark M, Tolchin B, Kashyap N, Bonito J, Salazar MC, Herbst JL, Nash K, Nguemeni Tiako MJ, Jubanyik K, Kim N, Galusha D, Oladele C. The Potential Impact of Triage Protocols on Racial Disparities in Clinical Outcomes among COVID-positive Patients in a Large Academic Healthcare System. PLoS One 2021;16(9):e0256763.
  3. Tolchin B, Tolchin DW, Stein MA. How Should Clinicians Minimize Harms and Maximize Benefits When Diagnosing and Treating Disorders Without Biomarkers? AMA J Ethics 2021;23(7):530-536.
  4. Wardrope A, Dworetzky BA, et al. How to do things with words: Two seminars on the naming of functional (psychogenic, non-epileptic, dissociative, conversion,…) seizures. Seizure 2021;93:102-110.
  5. Asadi-Pooya AA, Brigo F, Kozlowska K, Perez DL, Pretorius C, Sawchuk T, Saxena A, Tolchin B, Valente KD. Social Aspects of Life in Patients with Functional Seizures: Closing the Gap in the Biopsychosocial Formulation. Epilepsy Behav 2021;117:107903. DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.107903
  6. Shultz B, Tolchin B, Kraschel K. The “Rules of the Road”: Ethics, Firearms, and the Physician’s “Lane.” J Law Med Ethics 2020;48(4_suppl):142-145.
  7. Tolchin B, Hull SC, Kraschel K. Triage and Justice in an Unjust Pandemic: Ethical Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Setting of Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities. J Med Ethics; 2021;47(3):200-202.
  8. Tolchin B, Latham R, Bruce L, Ferrante LE, Kraschel K, Jubanyik K, Hull SC, Herbst JL, Kapo J, Moritz ED, Hughes J, Siegel MD, Mercurio MR. Developing a Triage Protocol for the COVID-19 Pandemic: Allocating Scarce Medical Resources in a Public health Emergency. J Clin Ethics 2020;31(4):303-317.
  9. Tolchin B, Conwit R, Epstein LG, Russell RA. AAN, ANA, CNS Joint Position Statement – Ethical issues in clinical research in Neurology. Neurology 2020. 94(15):661-669.
  10. Tolchin B, Hirsch LJ, LaFrance WC. Neuropsychiatric aspects of epilepsy. Psychiatr Clin North Am 2020. 43(2):275-290.
  11. Neal JB, Pearlman RA, White DB, Tolchin B, Sheth KN, Bernat JL, Hwang DY. Policies for mandatory ethics consultations at U.S. academic teaching hospitals: a multi-site survey study. Crit Care Med 2020;48(6):847-853.
  12. Tolchin B, Baslet G, Martino S, Suzkuki J, Blumenfeld H, Hirsch LJ, Altalib H, Dworetzky BA. Motivational interviewing techniques to improve adherence and outcomes for patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 2020;32(2):125-131.
  13. Tolchin B, Baslet G, Suzkuki J, Martino S, Blumenfeld H, Hirsch LJ, Altalib H, Dworetzky BA. Randomized controlled trial of motivational interviewing for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Epilepsia 2019;60(5):986-995.
  14. Tolchin B, Dworetzky BA, Martino S, Blumenfeld H, Hirsch LJ, Baslet G. Adherence with psychotherapy and treatment outcomes for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Neurology 2019;92(7):e675-e679.
  15. Traner CB, Tolchin DW, Tolchin B. Medical ethics education for neurology residents: where do we go from here? Seminars in Neurology 2018;38(5):497-504.
  16. Tolchin B, Dworetzky BA, Baslet G, Long-term adherence with psychiatric treatment among patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Epilepsia 2018; 59(1):e18-22.
  17. Williams O, Leighton-Herrmann E, Hecht M, DeSorbo A, Gerin W, Hedmann M, Shelton R, Tolchin B, Noble J. Child-mediated health communication: A conceptual framework for increasing stroke literacy in hard to reach populations. Journal of Health Disparity Research and Practice 2016;9(4):82-97.
  18. Tolchin B, Willey JZ, Prager K. Education research: a case-based bioethics curriculum for neurology residents. Neurology 2015;84(13):e91-93.
  19. Tolchin B. Human Rights and the Requirement for International Medical Aid. Dev World Bioeth 2008; 8(2):151-158.

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The Center for Clinical Ethics

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