Ethics Committee


I. Vision

Our vision is to promote the highest standards for family centered care by developing and providing ethical guidelines at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian (MS-CHONY) through consultation, policy formation and education, readily available to all patients, families and staff.

II. Purpose

The Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is dedicated to providing family centered medically indicated health care while ensuring the preservation of each family’s/patient’s right to self-determination. MS-CHONY recognizes that medical practice and health care delivery occur in a complex society within a constantly changing scientific, fiduciary, legal, and ethical environment. To assist the Health Care System in establishing and maintaining an ethical environment, a multidisciplinary ethics committee has been established to provide a forum for consideration and discussion of the ethical aspects of medical practice, health care delivery and organizational responsibility.

III. Function

Specific functions of the Committee shall include:

Consultation – Through case and policy consultation to serve as an information source and in an advisory capacity for the medical staff, administration, hospital associates, volunteers, patients and families when matters arise dealing with ethical issues and concerns in the Health System.

Continuing Education – To encourage and assist in the development of education programs on ethical issues, designed to increase sensitivity to and knowledge about ethical issues in healthcare among Committee members, the medical Staff, administration, hospital associates, patients and the community.

IV. Membership

The Committee shall consist of not less than 20 members and not more than 30 members and shall include individuals from Pastoral Care, Social Services, Nursing, the Medical Staff, Patient Services, and community. The Chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Department of Pediatrics are ex-.officio members of the Committee. Ideally, medical staff and nursing individuals would be from varied subspecialties/services.

V. Position Within the Organization

The Ethics Committee is a standing committee of the Medical Board and a subcommittee of the Milstein Ethics Committee. The Chairperson represents the Committee on the Milstein Ethics Committee and reports the activities of the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Ethics Committee to that Committee. The Chairperson also reports to the Chairperson of Pediatrics.

VI.Chairperson of Committee

The Chairperson of Pediatrics will appoint a chairperson and vice-chairperson from the membership. These offices will be three-year terms running January 1 – December 31. It is expected that the vice-chairperson become Chairperson for the following three year term. It is recommended that no chairperson or vice-chairperson serve more than one consecutive term in each of those positions.

VII. Duties and Responsibilities of the Chairperson

The chairperson shall call and preside at all meetings, develop agenda with members’ input, and appoint subcommittees from membership. The chairperson is responsible for ensuring minutes are recorded and distributed.

VIII. Duties and Responsibilities of the Vice Chairperson

The vice-chairperson shall in the absence of the chairperson perform those duties and responsibilities of the chairperson.

IX. Duties and Responsibilities of Members

Active Committee members shall attend meetings regularly (≥ 65 % annually), participate in the work of the Ethics Committee, and be committed to continuing self-education in ethics. Attendance and participation in the work of the Committee will be reviewed annually. Members who are unable to meet theses responsibilities may be asked to resign.

X. Meetings

Full committee meetings will be held monthly on the first Thursday of each month. Members may be called for special meetings at any time with notification occurring either through e-mail or via telephone.

XI. Quorum

Actionable items for consideration by this committee will be decided by a simply majority vote of the members present.

XII. Amendments

Proposed amendments in policy will be distributed to each member in writing at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting at which they will be discussed. A decision on proposed policy changes will then be made at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Policies and procedures will be reviewed regularly (at least once every two years) and updated as necessary to ensure constancy of current practices.