The Ethics Committee at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is dedicated to fostering the compassionate and thoughtful practice of medicine by advocating for the values of patients and families. We encourage and guide hospital staff as they encounter challenging ethical questions and provide education to patients, staff and the community. The committee’s purpose is described in the SSM Health policy that follows:
Purpose of the Ethics Committee
(from SSM Health System Policies & Procedures)
The purpose of the Ethics Committee is to help foster an ethical culture throughout the entity consistent with: Catholic moral and social teachings, specifically those summarized in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services; SSM HC’s mission, values, policies and procedures; and accepted medical and nursing practice. This is done primarily through education, policy development, and case consultation on a broad range of issues that encompass the clinical, organizational (or business), and social dimensions of health care. As a vital part of the ethical integrity of the entity, the Ethics Committee seeks to promote the basic values of Catholic health care. These values include but are not limited to the following:
- The dignity and sanctity of each person’s life
- The good of the community and society at-large
- The good of the environment
- Special attention to the needs of poor and vulnerable persons
- Compassionate, holistic care of the dying
- The equitable distribution of health care resources
- Justice in the workplace
- High-quality care for all centered on the whole person (body, mind, spirit)
- Service to the community
- Stewardship of resources
Ethics Advocacy & Consultation
Whether you are a patient or family needing someone to advocate for your values, a staff member at the hospital dealing with an ethical dilemma or moral distress, we invite you to contact the Ethics Committee for confidential consultation.
The Ethics Committee can be contacted at any time by dialing “0” on any hospital phone and asking the hospital operator to speak with the ethics consultant on call. Additionally, for non-urgent issues, the Ethics Committee can be contacted via email.
The Ethics Committee frequently provides lectures and trainings throughout the hospital regarding ethics issues and moral distress. Please let us know if you would like ethics training in your division or department.
We have compiled a library of useful ethics literature for your use. The following is an assortment of ethics-related publications. These articles may contain views that are not necessarily in full accordance with the values, practices, policies or commitments of SSM Health.
Ethics Committee Members
The Ethics Committee is a multidisciplinary group with representation from the medical staff, nursing staff, pediatric residency program, social work, Saint Louis University School of Law, the Footprints program (palliative care), the Saint Louis University Center for Healthcare Ethics, SSM Health and the community.