An Evolving Ethics Practice in Catholic Healthcare First Name Christina Last Name Namakydoost Terminal Degree(s) MA Institution/Organization CHRISTUS Spohn Health System
Catholic healthcare ethics contributes to the way in which Catholic identity is incorporated and intertwined into medical practice within Catholic healthcare facilities. Ethics in this realm has existed to integrate moral theology within the practical application and challenges of modern medicine. This is often accomplished by clinical ethics consultation, and through collaboration with providers in establishing and recognizing best practices for ethically and morally complex scenarios. Both of these situations rely on critical input from the bedside provider. In this, the ethicist acts a resource in providing recommendations and coaching in response to ethics concerns. This involves direct communication between provider and ethicist and/or patient and ethicist.
In recent years, Catholic healthcare ethics has begun to diverge from the traditional model of clinical ethics consultation. The new model concerns a proactive ethics integration, which strives to diminish the need for formal ethics expertise at the bedside. It instead relies on a bedside provider to draw upon an ethics knowledge-base gathered from ethics committee involvement. This serves to decrease the amount of clinical ethics consultation performed by formally trained Catholic healthcare ethicists.
This growing trend towards proactive ethics integration fundamentally changes the way in which providers interact with ethics in Catholic healthcare. It changes the point of access through which providers are able to connect with appropriate ethics resources, and it shifts the way in which clinical ethics consultation is solicited. Understanding these changes are crucial in knowing how to best address ethics concerns in striving towards excellent patient care, and the evolving relationship between medical practice and ethics in Catholic health ministries.