The goal of the Clinical Ethics Program at Duke University Hospital is to promote excellence in clinical care by addressing the ethical ramifications and controversies of modern clinical medicine. We examine ethical issues that arise in encounters between patients, families, and physicians, and aim to improve the process and outcome of patient care.

The Program approaches issues in medical ethics through diverse activities including clinical consultation and direct involvement as part of health care teams, education, and policy making.

The activities of the Program include:

  • Consultation. We offer practical advice to all staff and patients in Duke Hospital and Clinics on issues related to healthcare, such as the beginning and end of life, patient ability to participate in medical decision-making and research, and futility.
  • Education. We have active housestaff teaching programs in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, and a number of curricula for nursing staff.
  • Policy. The Duke Hospital Ethics Committee meets monthly to reflect on the ethical ramifications of clinical care practices, consider Hospital policies that affect patient care, and discuss local, regional and national issues that impact clinical medicine.

To contact the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service, page 919-970-8209.