Clinical Ethics Consultation

The Clinical Ethics Consult Committee provides expert consultation to all members of the Duke Hospital community, faculty, nurses, staff, patients and visitors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anyone can ask for advice, which may evolve into a formal consult, or stay as an anonymous phone call, by paging 919-970-8209.

We realize that many ethical issues arising in clinical medicine may not be amenable to simple and quick answers; clinical ethics consultants aim to provide practical advice in a variety of clinical situations. These include issues surrounding the beginning and end of life, ability to participate in medical decisions and surrogacy, and futility. The ethics consultation service also works closely with the faculty in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine to provide comprehensive answers for a full range of ethical issues.

Ethics consultations are available for outpatients as well as inpatients. Ethics consultants are available to answer questions informally, refer to relevant literature, and provide full ethics consultations.

Members of the Clinical Ethics Consult Committee serve for a term of 5 years and undergo rigorous training and continuing education. The committee meets twice a month.