The goal of the Clinical Ethics program at the Brant Community Healthcare System is to build ethics capacity and nurture a culture that helps us  to "do the right thing" when providing health care. This site has information about our program to help patients, families, and health care professionals who may be dealing with a difficult ethical issue related to clinical care.

What is Ethics?

Ethics is the systematic examination of facts, beliefs, standards and values in determining the rightness or wrongness of decisions and actions. Ethics involves expanding our focus from what is good for me, to consider "the greater good." Ethics is not merely opinion or gut reaction, but involves reasoned deliberation to address the question: "What is the best thing to do, all things considered?"

Clinical Ethics addresses ethical issues and dilemmas that arise in the care or treatment of individual patients. Health care professionals should consider the specific duties they have to these patients, such as those related to confidentiality, disclosure, consent, etc.

Some examples of clinical ethics issues include:

  • whether to withdraw or withhold treatments for a patient at end of life
  • conflict between a team and family regarding the perceived safety of a discharge plan for a patient
  • conflict between members of a healthcare team regarding whether to offer a fragile patient an innovative therapy
  • uncertainty regarding whether a patient is competent to refuse needed treatment

The Ethics Consultation Process

In order to meet the need for ethics support in the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) LHIN, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) has restructured its ethics program to create the Office of Clinical & Organizational Ethics.  The HHS Ethics office is the hub for a new NHNB Regional Ethics Network. The network is comprised of 7 partner organizations across our LHIN, the Brant Community Healthcare System being proudly one of them.

The HNHB Regional Ethics Network is supported by Dr. Julija Kelecevic.  Julija has worked internationally as an emergency room physician and has extensive experience working as a Clinical Ethicist in regional models in Northern Ontario and Southern Alberta.  She brings a wealth of knowledge about the unique ethical challenges facing community and rural healthcare practitioners.  She will lead the development of resources, curricula and infrastructure to enhance access to ethics services within partner organizations across the Hamilton/Niagara region.

How do I contact the Ethics Consultation Service

Anyone involved in a patient's care may call for support from the Ethics Consultation Service, including:  patients, family members, physicians, staff, and learners. 

You may contact the Ethics Consultation Service through the Patient Experience and Quality Outcomes (PEQO) Team at 519-751-5544, ext. 2385 or by e-mail at  Please leave your name and phone number.

Ethics Consultation is available during regular business hours, Monday to Friday.   If outside of regular business hours, or weekends, please leave a message and your call will be returned on the next business day.




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