The Clinical Ethics Committee (CEC) is a consultative resource for all Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) staff and administrative entities (including care staff, doctors, students, the institution's various authoritative bodies and the hospital administration) as well as for users and their families or loved ones. This committee can support reflection processes and discussions on conflicting values in the delivery of care and services and can aid staff in making decisions and solving ethical dilemmas or problems. This committee plays three main roles:
a) Educating: The CEC aims to educate and train staff members about the importance of ethics in health care and services. The CEC fulfills this responsibility at the MHI by organizing promotion, training, awareness and teaching activities on the issue of ethics and in the community by collaborating in training activities.
b) Creating or helping to create working papers or guidelines: These documents may address clinical or organizational questions that pertain to ethical issues. The goal of these documents is to provide a framework for a discussion and analysis of the ethical aspect of specific or general problems.
c) Fulfilling consultation requests: The CEC's main role is to help staff members reflect on ethical dilemmas that arise in their professional practice by providing them with space for dialogue and reflection that will lead to an in-depth and interdisciplinary analysis of these problems and promote informed decision making. The CEC therefore plays the role of consultant or advisor for all MHI staff members or stakeholders who need to consider ethical aspects when making a decision. The committee may also intervene at the request of users or their families.