Ethical Issues Of The Ottawa Hospital Board

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The purpose of this document is to present information, resources and a framework upon which board members can fully develop policies and procedures as they increase their awareness and recognition of ethical issues, risk of ethical conflicts, and put into practice ethical decision-making as it applies to and aligns with the mission, vision and values of The Ottawa Hospital (Appendix1)1.
The objective is to provide guidelines, ethical tools and resources. Board members can work with and build upon these to develop an ethics protocol of ‘best practices’ that addresses their needs. Once fully developed they should feel enabled to proactively identify ethical issues, risk of ethical issues and conflicts of interest in roles on The Ottawa
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However, situations still arise when knowing what is the right decision, or deciding between alternatives is not always clear, or is in fact difficult; other situations may leave you with feelings of uncertainty, distress or angst; a situation may occur where you know what is right to do but you feel pressure not to do it; other situations may occur where there are differing opinions at the table based upon the individuals beliefs and principles or you encounter a unique situation in which standard practices do not apply; or you simply ask yourself what would my family, friends or public think of me if I make this decision. Ethical policies and procedures support board members through these ethical dilemmas and toward ethically-based solutions.
Steps for Ethical Guideline Creation and its Components
1- Appreciation of the importance and role that ethics and ethical guidelines bring to the organization through education is an important first step to fully engage board members in this framework-building process. As mentioned above, at the organizational level we have responsibilities to our hospitals, communities and other stakeholders so that we serve in their best interests. To do this we must be adequately informed; avoid conflicts of interest; make decisions fairly, objectively and transparently; mitigate risks; and properly account for financial accounting, all within ethical ‘best practices’2. There are many on-line resources

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