Within the context of health care, ethics is referred to as clinical ethics. The unit’s approach to ethical issues relates primarily to issues within the practice of health care providers. These issues may involve patients or their families, or caregivers and managers within the institution. In addition, some irritants or tensions may arise between stakeholders owing to the various approaches they apply or the divergent views they face when confronted with certain situations, issues which serve to make decision-making circumstances even more complex. Further tensions may arise relating to technology and quality of life. Indeed, one might wonder if certain technological means are worth using every time it is physically possible to do so and who should resolve the issues at stake. Other tensions may relate to the pressures created on the health system by a rise in demand where resources, in fact, remain very limited.
The various ethical backgrounds found within Quebec society may be a source of misunderstandings and conflicts. An interdisciplinary and targeted clinical ethics approach allows us to address this range of challenges through several options.
Clinical ethics affects every decision, uncertain situation and conflicting value and dilemma that physicians, health professionals and social services are confronted with today.
The goal of clinical ethics is to improve on the quality of care offered to patients as well as the quality of the work environment for clinical practitioners while using an interdisciplinary approach and while identifying, analyzing and offering practical ideas and guidelines relating to ethical issues encountered in clinical practice.