Welcome to the Office of Ethics

The Office of Ethics provides ethics support for clinicians, patients and families when ethical issues arise in caring for patients (inpatient and outpatient) at Boston Children's Hospital. An ethical issue may arise when there is disagreement as to what the right (or acceptable) thing to do is between or amongst clinicians, parents, families, or other decision-makers and/or the patient. The source of the disagreement may be due to differing goals of care or differences in values, culture, religious, spiritual or personal beliefs.  Disagreements or uncertainty as to what ought to be done can be distressing for patients, parents (or other decision-makers), families and clinicians.

The office of Ethics is staffed by Clinical Ethicists and Ethics Associates (hospital clinicians with advanced training in medical ethics) who are available to provide ethics support and consultation to families and clinicians facing an ethical dilemma or who have ethical concerns.  A patient, parent (or other family member or decision-maker), or any health care professional involved in the care of a patient may request ethics support at no charge. A clinical ethicist is available 24 hours per day.  During business hours, an ethicist can be reached in the office at (617) 355-6920, or by paging the on-call ethicist at #3418. On weeknights, holidays, and weekend, call the page operator and request the ethicist on call at #3418.