Ethics Committee

NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital Ethics Committee Charter

I. Mission

The mission of the Pediatric Ethics Committee at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital (NYP-MSCH) is to promote the highest standard of family-centered care by fostering sound moral decision-making through consultation, policy formation and education for the benefit of all patients, families and the hospital community.

II. Purpose

The Pediatric Ethics Committee provides a multidisciplinary forum for consideration and discussion of the ethical aspects of medical practice, the healthcare delivery system and organizational ethical issues. The Committee recognizes NYP-MSCH commitment to family-centered medically indicated care. Further, the Committee assists NYP-MSCH in establishing and maintaining an ethical environment while recognizing the complexities of providing healthcare within a system that is influenced by changing scientific knowledge and technology, as well as economic, legal and social imperatives.

III. Function

Specific functions of the Committee shall include:

Clinical Ethics Consultation –

  1. To serve in an advisory capacity to the hospital and the hospital community in assisting patients, families and all health care professionals in identifying, analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas and issues.
  2. To provide mediation services to facilitate conflict resolution when appropriate.

Policy Review and Development – To assist the Hospital in the development of policies and procedures regarding ethical issues, questions or problems that arise in the care of patients and the welfare of the staff.

Continuing Education – To encourage and assist in the development of educational programs that are designed to increase sensitivity to and knowledge of ethical issues in healthcare among committee members, the clinical staff, administration, hospital associates, patients and the community in collaboration with the Program in Women and Children’s Bioethics.

IV. Membership

The Committee shall consist of not less than 20 members and not more than 30 members who broadly represent the professional, cultural, social and religious breadth and diversity of the hospital community. Accordingly, it should include representation from Pastoral Care, Social Services, Nursing, Medicine, Patient Services, medical residency training programs and the community. Ex-officio members and consultants may be invited to participate in the activities of the committee at the discretion of the Chair(s). Members will be nominated by the Membership Committee and reviewed by the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee for appointment.

The term of service of members is determined by the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee based upon the member’s participation in activities of the Committee. Term of service will reflect the need to rotate membership in order to foster the development of ethical expertise within all areas of the Hospital.

V. Position within the Organization

The Pediatric Ethics Committee is a standing committee of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and reports to the Medical Board.

VI. Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Committee

Method of selection - The Chairperson and Vice-chairperson will be nominated by the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee and approved by the Medical Board.

Duration of appointment - These offices will be three-year terms running July 1 – June 30. 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.

Duties - The Chairperson shall call and preside at all meetings, develop the agenda with the Vice-chairperson and members’ input, and appoint subcommittees. The Chairperson is responsible for ensuring minutes are recorded and distributed. The Vice-chairperson shall in the absence of the Chairperson perform those duties and responsibilities of the Chairperson.

VII. Executive Committee

Members – Appointment to the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee will be at the discretion of the current Chairperson and Vice-chairperson.

Duties – The Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee will meet monthly as scheduled by the chairpersons.

VIII. Membership

Selection – New members will be nominated by the Membership Committee and sent to the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee for review and appointment.

Duties - Active committee members shall attend meetings regularly (at least 7 meetings 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 Ethics Committee will be reviewed annually. Members who are unable to meet these responsibilities may be asked to resign. Ad hoc membership will be permitted in exceptional cases.

IX. Meetings

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

X. Standing Committees

A. Consultation Service

Selection of Consultation Service chair will be made by the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee.

Membership of the consultation service team - will be appointed by the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee, subject to the approval of the Consultation Service chair. Purpose – See Consultation Service Charter.

Composition of consultation team – The consultation team will be composed of 2-3 consultants: a leader and one or two experienced consultants. Members in training to become a consultant may be asked to join the consultation team.

Qualifications of the consult service members – See Consultation Service Charter.

Duties – See Consultation Service Charter.

Term of service – will be indefinite as long the individual is a member of the Pediatric Ethics Committee, submits his/or her resignation, or is asked by the Subcommittee chair in collaboration with the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee to submit his/or her resignation.

B. Membership

Selection of chair of the Membership Committee will be made by the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee.

Membership of the Membership Committee- will be appointed by the Chair of the Membership Committee.

Duties – The Membership Committee will maintain a record of persons who express interest in joining the Pediatric Ethics Committee and will make recommendations for membership based on the qualifications of the prospective member and the needs of the Committee to satisfy the mandate for adequate representation of the Hospital and larger community.

Term of service – will be indefinite as long the individual is a member of the Ethics Committee, submits his/or her resignation, or is asked by the Committee chair in collaboration with the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee to submit his/or her resignation.

XI. Ad hoc Committees

Ad hoc committees will be appointed by the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee as necessary.

XII. Confidentiality

Individual privacy will be respected and all discussion of clinical cases will be confidential.

XIII. Amendments to the Charter

The Pediatric Ethics Committee’s Charter will be reviewed at least once every two years by the Pediatric Ethics Executive Committee and amendments proposed. The proposed amendments to the Charter will be distributed to each member by e-mail at least seven days prior to the Pediatric Ethics Committee meeting at which time the proposed amendments will be discussed. A consensus decision on amendments will then be made at the next regularly scheduled meeting.