Ethics & Discernment
Ethics Services
Ethics Services

Ethics Services

Covenant Health offers a range of ethics services to patients, residents, family members, physicians, clinical staff, administrators and students. 

The Ethics & Discernment Centre supports families and care teams with several clinical ethics services that include education, policy information, clinician 'coaching' and formal clinical ethics consultation.

The Centre also facilitates organizational ethics consultation and mission discernment for clinical and administrative managers and corporate leaders.   

  • We help individuals or teams work through difficult situations step-by-step, using a clear and reasoned process.
    This can be done via phone, in-person, or during a formal meeting.
  • We hold debriefing sessions with care teams to assess and learn from difficult care scenarios.
  • We can attend your team meeting and provide customized education based on your team’s learning needs and interests

Consultation Services

Anyone may request an ethics consultation: patients, family members, health care team members, staff, etc.  We maintain the confidentiality of those who contact the Ethics & Discernment Centre, and our goal is to respond to your request within 24 hours (on weekdays).  Requests received on weekends will be answered on the following business day.

If you have an urgent ethics issue requiring immediate attention, please call our switchboard at 780-735-9000 and ask for the on-call ethics consultant.

Clinical ethics consultations contain structured discussions led by a member of the ethics team. Consultations are guided by Covenant Health’s ethical decision-making framework, and the Health Ethics Guide.

Consider the following when requesting a clinical ethics consultation:

  • Is there a significant disagreement or difference of opinion between care team members or between the patient or family and the care team?
  • Is there significant moral uncertainty about a particular patient's care plan?
  • Are there conflicting views on the goals of care or the best interests of the patient?
  • Do you need to weigh diverse moral values and beliefs or multiple options?
  • Are there any clear standards of care, practice or policy that would resolve the issue?

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Debriefing Services

Ethics debriefing involves on-going or retrospective case review focusing on the experience of a team or group during or after an ethically difficult situation. The purpose is to provide teams with a learning opportunity to reflect on difficult situations, to identify ways to improve quality of service in future cases, to provide collegial support for one another, and to reduce moral distress.  
Contact the Ethics & Discernment Centre for debriefing services 

Education Services

An Ethics & Discernment Centre team member may be invited to participate in your rounds or a team meeting where the focus is on educational opportunities to improve your ethics-related knowledge and skills in the workplace.  If you have a topic of concern, please contact the Ethics & Discernment Centre with your request and we will work together to meet your educational objectives.
Contact the Ethics Centre for educational services