Facing Difficult Decisions

What is a medical ethics dilemma?

Patients and families often find themselves in situations that demand decisions about the direction of their medical care. These decisions may be difficult when patients are unable to speak for themselves, or in situations where the family must make a medical care decision for a loved one facing death. The decisions become even more painful if family members disagree about the answers. They may have the best interests of the patient in mind, but have reached different, yet sincere, conclusions.

What help is available when facing difficult decisions?

Our Medical Ethics Committee is available for free consultations to help patients and families recognize and resolve medical ethics dilemmas. The committee consists of health care providers, administrators, legal and ethical experts, clergy, social services staff, long-term care providers and public representatives with these goals in mind:

  • Assure that each patient's rights are respected and that their health and comfort are an absolute priority
  • Offer recommendations for choosing the right care option for the patient
  • Assist in the decision-making process, with the final decisions belonging to the patient and his or her loved ones

How do I access a medical ethics consultation?

To request a no cost consultation, speak with your physician or nurse about scheduling, or call 507-433-7351 or 888-609-4065 (toll free) and ask to speak with the Administrator on Call. Consultations are conducted in a private, confidential, and non-threatening environment.


Resources

Advanced Care Planning