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Medical Jurisprudence

End-of-life

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

2014

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The Growing Power Of Healthcare Ethics Committees Heightens Due Process Concerns, Thaddeus Mason Pope Jan 2014

The Growing Power Of Healthcare Ethics Committees Heightens Due Process Concerns, Thaddeus Mason Pope

Faculty Scholarship

Complex ethical situations, such as end-of-life medical treatment disputes, occur on a regular basis in healthcare settings. Healthcare ethics committees (HECs) have been a leading dispute resolution forum for many of these conflicts. But while the function of HECs has evolved from mediation to adjudication, the form of HECs has not evolved to adapt to this expanded and more consequential function.

HECs are typically multidisciplinary groups comprised of representatives from different departments of the healthcare facility: medicine, nursing, law, pastoral care, and social work, for example. HECs were established to support and advise patients, families, and caregivers as they work …