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SAGE
(Southern and Central Illinois Advisory Group for Ethics)
Direction, Vision, Clarity
Clinical Ethics Center (CEC) at Memorial Medical Center

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Topics for the SAGE Training Sessions:
Session 1.

Effective Ethics Committees
This preparatory session for Ethics Committee discusses the goals, functions, and methods of highly effective Ethics Committees. Education, structure, and needed supports are discussed in detail.

Workshop.

Ethics Committee Core Skills (4 hours)
The workshop focused on core skill-building for ethics committee members. Included are experiences of ethics committee in the hospital setting, nursing home, and other organizations. Examination of the health care ethics community more broadly and its literature and organizations, along with a discussion on the “how to” of ethics case discussion and setting up an ethics educational program. Sample cases for discussion.

Session 3.

Introduction to Bioethics & Moral Decision-making
An introduction to the process of ethical decision-making including the basic concepts of ethics and ethical decision-making, professional and other role-based obligations, and addressing conflicts between acceptable alternatives. Sample cases for discussion. 

Session 4.

Issues in Substitute Decision-making
A detailed examination of the persons who may make decisions on a decisionally incapable person’s behalf, as well of the role, limitations, and obligations of those persons. Discussion will highlight hidden dangers and common mistakes, as well as accepted principles to guide these situations. Sample cases for discussion.

Session 5.

Legal Issues in Healthcare
An examination of the intersection between law and medical ethics. Included are the sources of authority, the distinction between law and risk management and ethics.

Workshop.

How To Do an Ethics Consult (4 hours)
Techniques and insights in the performance of ethics consultation, along with advice on how to record recommendations, what types of information must be addressed, ensuring appropriate policy support, and how to respond to a request.

Session 7.

Withholding/Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment/Palliative Measures
This session examines clinical, ethical, and legal contexts where withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatments such as dialysis, chemotherapy, antibiotics, artificial nutrition and hydration, or mechanical ventilation may be made. Included are issues to be attentive to, problem cases, and alternatives/palliation.

Session 8.

DNR Issues and the IDPH DNR Form
DNR orders have been effective in preventing or reducing unnecessary or unwanted treatment at the end of life, however they are often ignored or underutilized. This session examines the issues surrounding DNR orders and will discuss the IDPH form in detail, including issues such who can serve as a witness. Sample cases for discussion.

Session 9.

Informed Consent; Decisional Capacity; Research Issues
This session focuses on the standards for informed consent and decisional capacity assessments. Particular care will be paid to borderline cases and problematic cases. 

Workshop.

Is it Futile to Discuss Futility? (4 hours)
Cases where the patient or surrogate requests treatment that the provider does not feel is beneficial can lead to difficult conflicts. This workshop is case driven and will examine values, definitions of futility, legal parameters and mechanisms for addressing these issues.

Session 11.

Mental Healthcare Issues
An introduction to the unique aspects of care generated by mental health issues and treatments. Guardianship and its limitations will be examined, in addition to cases where mental and physical health problems overlap. Sample cases for discussion.

Session 12.

Ethics Consultation to Resolve Ethical Dilemmas
This session examines how care providers can develop and utilize ethics consultation to facilitate resolution of complex or troubling issues. Of particular interest are issues regarding best interest, quality of life assessments, and value conflicts. Sample cases for discussion.

NOTE: The specifics of each particular session will be designed to suit the particular needs and focus of the institutional members. The topics may therefore be adjusted to suit the needs and experiences of the members enrolled for each session. 
CONTACT INFORMATION:  For more information on our 12-step Ethics Committee Training Program,
e-mail us at sage@siumed.edu or call theSAGE Coordinator in the Clinical Ethics Center at Memorial Health System at (217)788-3868.

Questions or comments - email us at SAGE
Last Updated September 8, 2011
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