HEC Forum

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 211–227

Beyond Trail Blazing: A Roadmap for New Healthcare Ethics Leaders (and the People Who Hire Them)

Article

Abstract

This article is intended to serve as a roadmap to help new healthcare ethics leaders establish or renew an ethics program in a healthcare organization. The authors share a systemic step-by-step process for navigating this early career passage. In this paper, we describe five critical success strategies and provide explanations and concrete tools to help get you on the road to success as quickly and painlessly as possible. We will discuss how to define your role; diagnose your organization’s needs; build important relationships; and develop a strategic plan for starting or revitalizing an ethics program. We also review some of the more personal challenges that may be encountered along the way, and identify social supports and self-care strategies. The advice we provide grows out of reflections on our collective experience as new ethics leaders in three Ontario healthcare organizations.

Keywords

Ethics leadership Healthcare ethics roles Healthcare ethics program Ethics planning 

References

  1. Agich, G. (2003). Joining the team: Ethics consultation at the Cleveland Clinic”. HEC Forum, 15(4), 310–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). (2011). Core competencies and emerging standards for health care ethics consultation (2nd ed.). Glenview: ASBH.Google Scholar
  3. Chidwick, P., Faith, K., Godkin, D., & Hardingham, L. (2004). Clinical education of ethicists: The role of a clinical ethics fellowship. BMC Medical Ethics, 5(6).Google Scholar
  4. Chidwick, P., Bell, J., Connolly, E., Coughlin, M., Frolic, A., Hardingham, L., et al. (2010). Exploring a model role description for ethicists. HEC Forum, 22(1), 31–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fox, E., Myers, S., & Pearlman, R. A. (2007). Ethics consultation in United States hospitals: a national survey. The American Journal of Bioethics, 7(2), 13–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Frolic, A., & Chidwick, P. (2010). A pilot qualititative study of “conflicts of interest and/or conflicting interests” among Canadian bioethicists. Part 2: Defining and managing conflicts of interest. HEC Forum, 22(1), 19–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gibson, J., Godkin, D., Tracy, S., & MacRae, S. (2008). Innovative strategies to improve effectiveness in clinical ethics. In P. Singer & A. Viens (Eds.), The Cambridge textbook of bioethics (pp. 322–328) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Joint Centre for Bioethics. (2006). 10 year report. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  9. McRae, S., Chidwick, P., Berry, S., Secker, B., Hebert, P., Zlotnik Shaul, R., et al. (2005). Clinical bioethics integration, sustainability, and accountability: the Hub and Spokes strategy. The Journal of Medical Ethics, 31, 256–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rubin, S. B., & Zoloth, L. (2000). Dead wrong: Error in clinical ethics consultation. In S. B. Rubin & L. Zoloth (Eds.), Margin of error: The ethics of mistakes in the practice of medicine (pp. 195–216). Hagerstown, MD: University Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  11. Tarzian, A. J. (2009). Credentials for clinical ethics consultation—Are we there yet? HEC Forum, 21(3), 241–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Watkins, M. (2003). The first 90 days: Critical success strategies for new leaders at all levels. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of BioethicsQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Kingston General HospitalKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Hamilton Health SciencesHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Family MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.London Health Sciences CentreLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations