Supporting health care teams with ethical duty and making challenging decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Provincial Ethics Working Group has been working with the B.C. Health Emergency Coordination Centre to develop specific COVID-19 ethical guidance frameworks. These have been published by the B.C. Office of the Provincial Health Officer.
The ethical decision-making framework, and underlying principles and values, provides an interim process to support health care organizations and teams to make challenging decisions in a COVID-19 outbreak.
The ethical analysis focuses on the duty of health care workers in circumstances where there is a risk of harm to their own person.
Fraser Health resources
For support with values uncertainty or conflict in a clinical case, clinical ethics consult is available by completing a consult intake form (internal link, must be signed in to Fraser Health network). Support is also available for ethically challenging problems or questions not related to individual patient cases.
Moral distress debriefing
Moral distress describes the experience of losing or fearing the loss of things that matter greatly. This experience is characterized by painful feelings of guilt, anger, sadness, powerlessness.
Fraser Health Ethics & Diversity Services partners with People & Culture to offer tools and support for dealing with moral distress. (internal link, must be signed in to Fraser Health network)
To access support for yourself or your team, including exercises to debrief moral distress, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the words moral distress. A member of the team will work with you to determine the best support plan. We can also refer to other helpful resources (e.g. CISM, EAP).