UK HealthCare Ethics Committee
What is a hospital ethics committee?
The origin of the term "hospital ethics committee" first appeared in the Karen Quinlan decision in 1976 (In re Quinlan, 70 N.J. 10; 355 A.2d 647). The Quinlan decision recommended that future such cases go before a "hospital 'Ethics Committee' or like body of the institution." In 1983, the U.S. President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical Research endorsed the use of hospital ethics committees, followed by endorsement by the American Medical Association in 1985. In 1992, The Joint Commission required that hospitals have an "independent ethics mechanism" to address ethical issues in clinical care, which resulted in the establishment of clinical ethics consultation at institutions accredited by the Joint Commission.
The UK HealthCare Ethics Committee
The UK HealthCare Ethics Committee is a multidisciplinary committee that includes members from all UK hospitals. The Ethics Committee continues to be a standing committee that reports to the Medical Staff Executive Committee. The main charges of the Ethics Committee are to review or generate policy, as well as run the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service. The committee meets the first Monday of each month. To recommend an agenda item for discussion, or to inquire about membership, please contact the Chair. To request a clinical ethics consultation, page the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service at (859) 330-0365 or request your consultation via email.
To read about clinical ethics consultation and ethics committees, download the Clinical Ethics Bibliography (PDF, 138KB).
Ethics Committee Chair
The UK HealthCare Ethics Committee is chaired by M Sara Rosenthal, PhD, Director of the UK Program for Bioethics.