Social Services(707) 646-4045
Confronting a serious, life-threatening illness can be overwhelming for patients and families. A supportive system of compassionate expertise can help provide comfort, direction and peace of mind. With an entire network of health and social services, our team of professionals is dedicated to addressing and managing any end-of-life concerns.
When families are making important medical decisions, ethical dilemmas may make these decisions more difficult to reach. Conflicts between loyalties, rights, duties or values can lead to indecision. For example, the value of preserving life may conflict with other values such as respecting the patient's wishes or relieving suffering.
The NorthBay Healthcare Ethics Committee offers confidential consultations when sensitive issues create conflict or cause indecision regarding treatment. The Ethics Committee is not a decision-making group, but acts as a resource for patients and families.
The role of the committee is to:
Issues addressed often include:
A. NorthBay Healthcare staff respect the rights of all patients and their families to have adequate information and resources to make informed decisions.
Any NorthBay Medical Center or VacaValley Hospital patient, family or caregiver who would like assistance in resolving an ethical medical dilemma may contact the Ethics Committee. The committee is not meant to replace, but to assist the family, the patient and the patient’s personal physician.
A. The first resources available to patients and their families are the physicians, nurses and social workers providing care for the patient. These professionals not only care for the patient’s physical health but also advocate for the patient. If you are unsure about ethical concerns after working with your healthcare professionals and other family members, consider contacting the ethics committee for a consultation. The committee has consulted with patients, families and doctors to sort out options on stopping treatment, caring for mentally incompetent patients, interpreting living wills and many other sensitive issues.
A. NorthBay Healthcare Ethics Committee is comprised of the following members:
A. If you have questions or would like to request the assistance of the Ethics Committee please call the Medical Staff Office at (707) 646-5098 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Administrative Coordinator is available after hours to assist in assembling an urgent ethics meeting.
A. Advance Directives are documents written in advance of an incapacitating illness to provide guidance for families and caregivers. These documents usually will name an agent to make decisions when a patient is unable to do so. The documents may also state a patient’s choice about treatment.
NorthBay Healthcare recommends the Advance Health Care Directive since it allows for an agent to be appointed. Click here to download a PDF Advance Health Care Directive Form (English/Spanish).
NorthBay Medical Center: 707-646-5000 NorthBay VacaValley Hospital 707-624-7000
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