Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee vision is to provide an ethical framework for finding shared solutions when differences of opinion over care arise among patients, families, and the medical staff achieving fairness, respect, integrity, compassion and excellence.

The Medical Ethics Committee is established to provide a forum for the deliberation of medical ethics issues that may occur within the WCHN’s system. The Committee affords medical ethical consultation throughout the health system regarding ethical issues in specific cases. The Committee promotes education regarding medical ethical matters for the committee members themselves, the medical staff, the professional staff, the administration, patients and families, and the community at large. The Committee assesses WCHN's policy regarding ethical issues in providing patient care and in demonstrating a respect for patients’rights. The Committee may make recommendations regarding these issues.

The Ethics Committee is a resource for the medical staff, patients and families. The members are able to facilitate communications among all parties regarding patient care, patient and family preferences and values, medical diagnoses and treatment options. Their goal is to reach consensus on steps for future patient care that are medically sound, ethical and compassionate.

Bioethics is the study of ethical issues emerging from situations and possibilities brought about by advances in biology and medicine. It is also moral discernment as it relates to medical policy and practice. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philosophy.

Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of clinical medicine and in scientific research. Medical ethics allow for people, regardless of race, gender, age, or religion to receive responsible care. This applies to both the living and nonliving, such as medical research on cadavers. It creates an obvious guideline to follow. Medical Ethics is based on four principles that professionals can refer to in the event of any confusion or conflict in the care of the patient. These principles are:

  1. Autonomy – patients have the right to make their own medical decisions
  2. Beneficence – physicians should protect and promote the welfare of the patient
  3. Non-maleficence “do no harm” – physicians should refrain from doing things that harm the patient
  4. Justice – physicians should be concerned not only about the one patient they’re treating at the moment, but also about other patients and how care is distributed

With the help of these principles it allows doctors, care providers, and families to create a treatment plan and work towards the same common goal without conflict. It is important to note that these four principles and values are of equal worth.

For additional information about Bioethics, Medical and Clinical Ethics, visit:

For information about Advanced Directives for medical care, visit:

To contact the Ethics Committee, call Danbury Hospital at 203-739-7000 and your request will be forwarded to the Ethics Committee for response.