Friday, April 30, 2010

Healthcare Ethics Forum at UPMC Mercy

Healthcare experts from UPMC, Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh gathered at UPMC Mercy Hospital to discuss healthcare ethics today.

Director of Pitt’s Consortium Ethics Program Rosa Lynn Pinkus says ethical issues are never labeled. She says it is the mission of preventive ethics to find and fix them before they become a crisis.

Pinkus says although most hospitals have ethics committees, they are often reactive, under-funded, or ignored. She says administrators must take a more comprehensively ethical approach to running their hospitals.

“What’s being talked about now is educating managers in charge of budget on how to look at ways one can justly and fairly allocate scarce resources,” says Pinkus. “Instead of just balancing a budget, having a process.”

Pinkus says because each case is different, medical workers should think critically in the case of each patient, and not have a “silo” approach in which they stuff people into the same category. She says while rules and laws are important, values are key.

Pinkus says the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities is adopting a more proactive and comprehensive approach to healthcare ethics.

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