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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


Role of ethics in hospital policy development subject of seminarRole of ethics in hospital policy development subject of seminar

11 Feb 2010

A project that aims to develop best practices for the ethical analysis of policies within health care institutions will be the focus of the CHEPA monthly seminar on Feb. 24.

Andrea Frolic, clinical and organizational ethicist with Hamilton Health Sciences, will lead the discussion entitled What is “ethical” health policy analysis? The roles of ethics committees in hospital policy development, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in HSC-1J8.

While hospitals invest significant resources to develop institutional policies governing diverse issues such as consent procedures, the hiring/firing process and disposal of human remains, this type of micro-level health policy garners little theoretical attention in the literature on hospital governance. Many of these policies have significant ethical dimensions.

The presentation will describe a project initiated by the Hamilton Health Sciences Clinical Ethics Committee (CEC), and include specific information on the typical roles of ethics committees within hospitals and the literature on the functions of ethical frameworks in health policies. Katherine Drolet, a master’s candidate in the Anthropology of Health program at McMaster, will report on the literature review and methodology of the research project. The CEC’s recent attempts to describe, analyze and refine its policy review process using a Quality Improvement framework will also be explained.

Discussion will focus on the intersection of ethics, policy and practice within hospitals.

Frolic’s research interests focus on moral distress, narrative ethics and ethics consultation. Since joining Hamilton Health Sciences in 2004, she has worked on various projects including recruiting and training a nationally-recognized Ethics Consultation Service Team, developing an integrated approach to ethics from bedside to boardroom, and creating an ethical decision-making framework.

Frolic earned her PhD in medical anthropology from Rice University in Houston, and completed a clinical ethics fellowship at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as an MA in religion and culture at Wilfrid Laurier University.

All are welcome to attend the seminar.

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