The Hospital Accreditation Manual lists as a requirement that hospitals have a defined process for handling ethical problems. In Northeast Florida the venue of choice has been ethics committees. However, there have not been many opportunities for continuing ethics education in this area.Further evidence of the need for such training came in an anonymous 2002 survey of local hospitals by the Jacksonville Community Coalition Caring for Children, in which ethics was unanimously ranked as a top need for education and assistance by physicians, nursing staff, and allied professions.In response to this need, the Center, in conjunction with the Northeast Florida Bioethics Forum and local professionals, have designed a multi-course certification plan to train members of ethics committees of area healthcare institutions.Topics to be covered in the course include but are not limited to health law, methods in decision-making, informed consent, disclosure of medical error, privacy, diversity in the clinical context, and ethical issues at the end of life.Experts from around the country come to lecture on these and other topics. The course consists of nine sessions, one three-hour session per month, for nine months; with dinner to be served at each meeting.For more information, please contact the Center.
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