National Ethics Consultation Service - National Center for Ethics in Health Care
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National Center for Ethics in Health Care

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National Ethics Consultation Service

The National Center for Ethics in Health Care provides consultation on questions of health care ethics to VHA leaders and facility-based ethics program staff. Veterans, families, VA staff, and involved parties at field facilities should seek consultation from their local VA medical center. Every VA medical center has an ethics consultation service. Your facility’s administration can tell you how to contact your local program.

When Is It Appropriate to Request an Ethics Consultation?

In VA, an ethics consultation request to NCEHC is appropriate when there is a lack of clarity about an ethics policy or concept, or there is uncertainty surrounding an ethics-related situation or decision to be made.

Examples of requests from local VA ethics programs, VISNs, VHA program offices, and other parties include:

  • an ethics analysis of concerns relating to patient care, health care management, or research
  • a review of documents from a health care ethics perspective
  • a clarification of health care ethics policy
  • answers to questions or information about topics in health care ethics
  • a referral to additional ethics resources

How to Request an Ethics Consultation

Not Sure What to Do? Ask for an Ethics Consultation. This brochure explains why you would request an ethics consultation and how to request one at your local VA health care facility. You can also download a Spanish version of the brochure.

Every VA medical center has an ethics consultation service. Your facility’s administration can tell you how to contact your local program.

Assessing the Quality of Ethics Consultation Based on the Consultation Record

To support ethical practices and ethically appropriate outcomes for ethics consultation, the National Center for Ethics in Health Care has developed multiple strategies to promote ethics consultation quality.  These include"

The Ethics Consultation Quality Assessment Tool (ECQAT) project aims to promote ethics consultation quality by assessing the ethics consultation record.

Learn more about Assessing the Quality of Ethics Consultation Based on the Consultation Record

Download the Paper

Ethics Consultation Quality Assessment Tool: A Novel Method for Assessing the Quality of Ethics Case Consultations Based on Written Records. American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 16, Issue 3, 2016