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National Center for Ethics in Health Care


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Ethics Consultation



Responding to Ethics Questions in Health Care

Ethics consultation improves health care quality by helping staff members, patients, and families resolve ethical concerns. IntegratedEthics® (IE) provides comprehensive standards, methods, and tools to ensure high quality ethics consultations in all VHA Facilities.

The Ethics Consultation Coordinator is a member of the IE Council and oversees the facility's ethics consultation service and ongoing consultation activities. In the IE model, ethics consultation services use the CASES approach, which includes the following steps:

five staff members sitting and discussing notes

Assemble the relevant information
Synthesize the information
Explain the synthesis
Support the consultation process 


 ECWeb: A Quality Improvement Tool

The ethics consultation component of IntegratedEthics utilizes a Web-based software program called ECWeb to document, track, evaluate, manage, and continuously improve ethics consultation quality. ECWeb reinforces a systematic approach to ethics consultation and enables consultants to produce comprehensive, standardized records of their ethics consultation data to serve for reference, reporting, and quality improvement purposes. Learn more about ECWeb


Ethics Consultation: Responding to Ethics Questions in Health Care (2nd Edition) - The primer provides an introduction to health care ethics consultation, and outlines a step-by-step approach to conducting ethics consultations using the CASES approach. Intended for staff who participate in ethics consultations, including leaders responsible for overseeing the ethics consultation function.

IntegratedEthics Policy - VHA Handbook 1004.06

Find additional materials on health care ethics consultation in the index 


Ethics Consultation: Responding to Ethics Questions in Health Care - This two-part video course (each part is 45 minutes in length) discusses important elements of a successful ethics consultation service and, using specific examples and interactive exercises, reviews CASES, a five-step approach to performing effective ethics consultations.


Ethics consultation core tools:

Tools to increase awareness of ethics consultation:

Tools to assess ethics consultant knowledge and skills:

Resources for new ethics consultants:

Guide for New Ethics Consultants

Template: Ethics Consultant Appointment Letter to the Ethics Consultation Service

Six advanced training modules on the CASES approach to ethics consultation for Ethics Consultation Coordinators and other team members:

Tools to explain the role of the ethics consultation coordinator:


IE Archive: Materials used in the initial launch of the VA IE program



What's New

New! True North, the newsletter of VA National Center for Ethics in Health Care. Issue 4 is available now!

New podcast! Servant Leadership: Intersections with Ethics, Business Integrity & Compliance (43:49) A presentation by Dr. Maureen Cash, VHA National Center for Organization Development

New! The IE Council Member Orientation Guide located on the IE Program Management web page is designed to assist IE council members with the transition into their new role.

The second edition of Ethics Consultation: Responding to Ethics Questions in Health Care is now available. This primer establishes VA standards for health care ethics consultation, one of the three core functions of IntegratedEthics.