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Ethical dilemmas are frequently encountered by community health and support workers, including case managers, nurses, personal support workers, physicians, allied health professionals, and others.
Sun Country Health Region adopted the common approach for ethical decision-making developed and trialed by a group called the Community Ethics Network, in Toronto.
The toolkit was created to facilitate the broader implementation of the common approach for ethical decision-making.
The toolkit consists of the following components:
1. Code of Ethics for Community Health and Support Sector
2. Decision-making worksheet
3. Guidelines for using the decision-making worksheet
4. Guidelines for conducting case reviews
5. Additional resources
Sun Country Health Region has also adopted the following Code of Ethics:
Code of Ethics
We are committed to being an integral part of the communities we serve.
We are responsible for: acting professionally and in a client-centred manner; upholding the dignity and honour of our clients; and practicing in accordance with ethical principles.
This Code of Ethics is intended to provide us with specific ethical principles to address situations that we may encounter, and to guide us in our relationships with clients, family members and others in the support team, other health care practitioners, and the public.
This code is intended to complement laws, codes and standards of professional practice.
Advocacy: We have the responsibility to help improve the awareness, the accessibility and the quality of our services by advocating on behalf of our clients.
We will seek guidance both internally and externally from our organization for those situations that could place the organization and/or its clients at risk.
Client and Employee Safety: We recognize that the community setting represents a unique environment for community and health sector employees.
We will take available steps to assess and minimize risk to clients, while being sensitive to their wishes. We will also take necessary measures to ensure the personal safety of employees, and safety concerns of both clients and employees, and the safety concerns of both clients and employees will be reported and addressed in a supportive and non-threatening way.
After all options have been considered, we may withdraw services if employee safety is compromised.
Commitment to Quality Services: We are committed to providing the highest quality services that will benefit our clients within available resources.
Confidentiality: Client information is confidential; we will ensure that clients and their legal substitute are informed of their right to consent to the sharing of necessary information with individuals and organizations directly involved in the client’s care.
Conflict of Interest: We will not compromise services to our clients for our own personal benefit.
Dignity: In all our interactions, we will demonstrate profound respect for human dignity. We will be responsive and sensitive to the diversity among our clients and staff groups.
Fair and Equitable Access: We believe that each individual is entitled to an assessment. We will ensure that services are based on clients’ needs, regardless of their income, age, gender, ethnicity or race, physical or mental ability and any other factors such as diverse behaviors or lifestyle.
Health and Well Being: We will use a holistic approach to clients’ health care needs by acknowledging all things important to them in their community.
Informed Choice and Empowerment: We believe that most individuals have the ability and the right to make decisions about their health.
We will assist clients to make care plans and life choices in keeping with the client’s values, beliefs and health care goals.
We will ensure that clients are fully informed of their options and have all the information they need to make informed decisions about their health.
Following due process if the client is determined to be incapable of making these decisions, we will take directions from the client’s legal substitute.
Relationships Among Community Agencies: We recognize there may be a competitive element in our working relationships; however we agree to respect one another’s roles and to work together in the spirit of collaboration to maximize the effectiveness of client services.
SUN COUNTRY HEALTH REGION & AFFILIATES
Regional Ethics Committee
Terms of Reference
PURPOSE: The Ethics Committee exists as an advisory committee to the region on ethical issues.
Accountability: The Ethics Committee is accountable to the President and Chief Executive Officer.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Director of Rural Health Nursing Services - East / West - 1 Representative
Vice President Community Health
Physicians – Medical Health Officer, Vice President Medical, Resident Physician
Regional Director CQI & Strategic Planning
Quality Improvement & Patient Safety Manager
Regional Director of Home Care
Ministerial Association Representative
Regional Director of Mental Health & Addictions
Palliative Care Representative
*Director Patient and Resident Care, St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan
Patient/Family Advisor Representative
Human Resources Representative
*St. Joseph's Hospital of Estevan (representative for the Affiliates: Borderline Housing, Carnduff & Radville Marian Health Centre)
Chairperson: As appointed by the membership.
Meetings: The team meets quarterly and additional meetings are held as needed at the call of the chair. Minutes of the meetings are distributed to each team member.
Reporting Relationship: The Ethics Committee provides a written report to the Sun Country Regional Health Authority, Leadership Team and staff on an annual basis.
TERM: Terms of reference are reviewed annually and revised accordingly.
FUNCTION: The Ethics Committee will:
a) Act as a resource for clients, families, practitioners and staff.
b) Educate committee members, regional staff, practitioners and others interested in health care ethics.
c) Encourage open dialogue within the region and broader community concerning ethics issues.
d) Act in a consultant role to the region on research activities with ethical implications that may include approval or denial of research projects.
e) Help in the development of policies, procedures, rules, and regulations for issues having ethical implications.
f) Present information on ethics to the public.
g) Evaluate information, cases, events brought before the committee and to make recommendations about the same.
h) Evaluate the functions of the committee on an annual basis.
Chairperson, Regional Ethics Committee
Sun Country Health Region
Box 2003, WEYBURN, SK S4H 2Z9
Phone: (306) 842-8720 Fax: (306) 842-8723