Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Network across America

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Network across America

Article excerpt

Networks Across America

The special needs of ethics committees in rural hospitals provide the primary focus for the work of the Vermont/New Hampshire Network of institutional ethics committees. Foundations for the Network were laid in the mid-1980s through a series of workshops on ethics committees organized by Charles Culver, M.D., of Dartmouth's Mary Hitchcock Hospital. The need for an expanded network became apparent as the number of ethics committees in Vermont doubled in the last three years. Financial constraints precluded hiring a full-time ethicist at each facility, so hospitals had to develop their own expertise in ethics.

The Vermont state medical society's committee for medical ethics hopes to develop a network newsletter, offer training sessions for new ethics committee members, and assemble educational materials for committees. Meanwhile, across the state line, a meeting of chairs of ethics committees in New Hampshire this fall will work toward promoting ethics committee decisions based on sound ethical reasoning, rather than the individual interests and predilections of members.

Contact persons for the Network are Charles Culver, M.D., Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, and Denise Niemira, M.D., North Country Hospital, Newport, Vermont.

This spring, representatives of the Arizona Humanities Council, Arizona State College of Nursing, University of Arizona Medical Center, and St. Joseph and Good Samaritan Hospitals in Phoenix met to form the Arizona Bioethics Network. The primary purposes of the new Network are to educate committees and affiliated practitioners and to circulate policies of member institutions.

Previous attempts to establish a network in Arizona were unsuccessful. …

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