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Ethics Service

The Ethics Service of Baystate Health is an interdisciplinary advisory body that assists patients, families, and healthcare providers to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical dilemmas.


Making decisions amid the complexities of modern medicine is not easy.  Ethical questions may arise when patients lose the capacity to make decisions, when it is unclear whether the burdens of treatment are worth the expected benefits, when values between providers and patients conflict, and for many other reasons. 

The Ethics Service provides consultation in clinical, research, and organizational ethics, including making policy recommendations. It also provides education in biomedical ethics, and conducts Ethics Grand Rounds.

Any patient, family member, or healthcare professional may request ethics consultation at any time, and for any reason. 

No fees are charged for this service and all consults are kept strictly confidential (within the limits of law).

Interdisciplinary Ethics Committee

The Interdisciplinary Ethics Committee is a branch of the Ethics Service comprised of ethicists, physicians, nurses, social workers, clergy, risk managers, and administrators at Baystate Health, as well as external professionals—including various members of the surrounding community—who represent the Greater Springfield area.

The Committee meets quarterly to discuss the broader goals of the Ethics Service and to review specific cases.

Ethics Grand Rounds

Ethics Grand Rounds is open to all Baystate Health employees.

The focus of the Rounds is contemporary moral issues that healthcare professionals confront in daily practice at Baystate Health.

Past topics have included ethical issues in:

  • palliative care and geriatric medicine
  • clinical research
  • reproductive medicine
  • genetic testing
  • mental health care and addiction medicine
  • infectious diseases
  • pediatric medicine
  • local and global disaster preparedness