The mission of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society is to provide leadership in education, research, and clinical service at Vanderbilt University Medical Center concerning the ethical, legal, and social dimensions of medicine, health care, and health policy. The Center recognizes the numerous ways that nurses serve VUMC and seeks to understand and respond to the distinctive ethical challenges and opportunities that nurses face in their efforts to provide care to patients.
All VUMC nurses, regardless of their role within the hospitals and clinics, are encouraged to make use of the Ethics Consultation Service when they have an ethical question or concern.
Ethics faculty and senior trainees from the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society staff the Ethics Consultation Service. Keith Meador, MD, ThM, MPH, serves as director. At any given time, a faculty member consultant (and sometimes also a trainee) are “on call” to meet the needs of nurses and other care team members. Consultants come from an array of disciplinary backgrounds, including law, medicine, philosophy, religion and ethics, and the social sciences.
In the past, consultations have often involved issues identified by nurses as causing ethical concern in their daily work. For example, ethics consultants have been called to advise families and care team members about decision-making, end-of-life care, and conflicts between members of the care team itself.
For more information, please visit The Vanderbilt Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society.
Keith Meador, MD, ThM, MPH