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Adult Ethics Committee

The Michigan Medicine Committee advisory groups are appointed by the Hospital's Office of Clinical Affairs. They review ethical or moral questions that may come up during an adult patient's care. The consultants facilitate communication among adult patients, their families and the treatment team to assist everyone in making appropriate choices when difficult decisions need to be made. The Committee's goal is to help everyone decide the right thing to do. The Michigan Medicine Adult Ethics Committee is a sub-committee of the Executive Committee on Clinical Affairs as determined by the Medical Staff Bylaws.

About Us

Sometimes patients, families and staff have very difficult choices and ethical questions they need to talk about. Discussions with the Ethics Committee can be helpful and reassuring when a difficult choice must be made (for example, questions on end-of-life care, or issues of confidentiality). The goal of the Committee is to facilitate communication among adult patients, their families and the treatment team to assist everyone in making appropriate choices, as well as to assist Michigan Medicine in complying with ethical regulatory standards, when difficult decisions need to be made. The Committee provides consultation to the treatment team, patients and families on ethical, moral or philosophical problems and issues encountered in the course of managing inpatient and outpatient care.

Committee members include physicians, residents, nurses and social workers, as well as medical students, an attorney/compliance officer, a chaplain, a medical ethics professor and members from the community.

The Adult Ethics Committee meets on the third Tuesday of the month, form 12-1:30pm, at University Hospital in dining room D, if you would like to attend as a guest, please contact Amy Lynn @ lynnam@med.umich.edu

What happens when a meeting with the Ethics Committee is requested?

The consultants on call review the patient's medical situation and treatment options. In addition, concerns and feelings of the patient, family members, and the health care team are discussed. Members of the committee may visit with patients, families and medical personnel to discuss these concerns.

Ethics Committee members discuss the information which has been gathered. The Ethics Committee makes suggestions about the best course of action. Often there are a number of options available in the course of a patient's care. Final decisions are made by the patient, family and the health care team.

Request a Consult

Monday-Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Call 734-615-1379
After normal business hours, please call 936-6267 and ask for the clinical ethicist on call to be paged.

Resources

Financial Assistance

Non-Beneficial Treatment

Advance Directives

Committee Bylaws

 

For upcoming Bioethics Grand Rounds see Events

Bioethics Grand Rounds

Wed, March 22, 2017, 12:00pm
Location: 
UH Ford Amphitheater & Lobby

Autumn Fiester, PhD, Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania

Title –  The “Difficult” Patient Reconceived: Learning the Skills of Mediators in Managing Challenging Clinical Encounters.

Abstract: Between 15%-60% of patients are considered “difficult” by their treating physicians.  Patient psychiatric pathology is the conventional explanation for why patients are deemed “difficult.” But the prevalence of the problem suggests the possibility of a less pathological cause.  I argue that the phenomenon can be better explained as responses sourced in conflicts related to healthcare delivery and that the solution to the “difficult patient” is to teach better conflict management skills to clinical providers.


Objectives:

1. Apply the mediator's concepts of "positions" and "interests" to patient-provider conflicts
2. Identity the moral emotions and explain their significance in managing the "difficult" patient
3. Learn seven maxims for diffusing conflict in clinical encounters

Available via live stream at: https://connect.umms.med.umich.edu/bioethics_3_22_17

Tue, June 19, 2018

In a study led by Susan Goold, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers surveyed 2104 Michigan primary care providers who provide care for patients insured by the Healthy Michigan Plan. According to surveyed providers, extending medical insurance to low-income Michigan residents meant better access to health care, earlier detection of serious illnesses, better care for existing health problems and improved ability to work, attend school and live independently.

Research Topics: 

Woll Family Speaker Series: Debate on Conscience Protection

Fri, March 09, 2018, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location: 
Med Sci II, West Lecture Hall

The Woll Family Speaker Series on Health, Spirituality and Religion

We are excited to be hosting a debate on Conscience Protection on Friday March 9th from 12-1 as part of the UMMS Program on Health, Spirituality and Religion. Please save the date! CME Credit provided (see below).

Point: Healthcare professionals are "obligated to provide, perform, and refer patients for interventions according to the standards of the profession.” NEJM, 2017

Counterpoint: Healthcare professionals have the right to opt out of performing or referring for procedures they view as objectionable in accord with their religious or personal values.

Join Dr. Naomi Laventhal and Dr. Ashley Fernandes in this academic discussion as part of the University of Michigan Program on Health, Spirituality and Religion.

CBSSM Seminar: Peter A Ubel, MD

Tue, April 10, 2018, 3:00pm
Location: 
NCRC, Building 16, Room 266C

Peter A Ubel, MD

Professor of Business Administration
Madge and Dennis T. McLawhorn University Professor
Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Professor of Medicine
Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

“The Ethics of Nudges: An Informal Discussion”

This will be an informal discussion with Dr. Ubel, CBSSM faculty, and others to discuss their research around the ethics of nudges.

 

CBSSM Seminar: Darin Zahuranec, MD

Wed, January 20, 2016, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Location: 
NCRC, Building 16, Room 266C

Darin Zahuranec, MD


Assistant Professor, Neurology

Title:  Improving decisions on life-sustaining treatments after stroke

Abstract:  Individuals with acute stroke face the sudden onset of new deficits, along with a need to make many decisions about medical treatments with impact on the potential for survival and long-term disability. This talk will review the challenges in decision-making after acute stroke and discuss possible solutions for the future.

 

People

Our People

CBSSM is an interdisciplinary group committed to improving individual and societal health through research, education, and public outreach. Our unit attracts scholars from across departmental and disciplinary boundaries and in so doing, provides fertile ground for new synergies. CBSSM affiliates with scholars from across the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor VA Health System to collaborate on research projects.

Our team includes:

  • Social and cognitive psychologists
  • Bioethicists
  • Clinicians from many medical specialty areas
  • Public health researchers
  • Decision scientists
  • Behavioral economists
  • Survey methodologists

CBSSM Seminar: Julie Wright Nunes, MD, MPH

Wed, May 17, 2017, 3:00pm
Location: 
NCRC, Building 16, Room 266C

Julie Wright Nunes, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine

Title: Patient Education and Care: Challenges and Opportunities in Chronic Kidney Disease

Abstract: Twenty million people, or 20% of U.S. adults ages 60 and older, have chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is a significant public health threat carrying high risk of morbidity, mortality, and renal failure. Health behavior theory suggests that patient motivation and healthy behavior change require patients to have knowledge of their chronic condition, as well as the self-efficacy and skills to do what is needed to stay healthy. The chronic care model promotes early patient engagement in care. Yet, less than 20% of  patients with CKD are aware of their diagnosis. Even patients who are aware often do not understand the implications of their CKD diagnosis or what they need to do to optimize their health. Dr. Wright Nunes will discuss her research aimed to develop, test, and disseminate sustainable patient-centric education and coaching support interventions to improve quality of care and outcomes in patients who have CKD.

Mon, April 17, 2017

Brian Zikmund-Fisher is quoted in a recent MarketWatch article, "How doctors are getting patients more involved in their own care." Dr. Zikmund-Fisher points out, "Patients are often overwhelmed by massive amounts of data they now have access to. The easier we make it for them to understand, the more likely it is they will use it and the less time the doctor has to spend explaining it.” The article goes on to cite a web-based application developed by Dr. Zikmund-Fisher and colleagues that allows health-care providers and researchers to create graphics that use icons in arrays that show risk information in ways that make it easier for people to grasp information.

A study by former CBSSM Co-Director, Angela Fagerlin, is also cited in the article.

CBSSM Seminar: Chithra Perumalswami, MD, MSc

Wed, May 23, 2018, 3:00pm
Location: 
NCRC, Building 10, Room G065

Chithra Perumalswami, MD, MSc
CBSSM Postdoctoral Fellow

 

Title:
Defining High Quality Health Care at the End of Life: Obesity in Hospice

Brief abstract:
Little is known about the challenges of providing high quality health care at the end of life for patients with obesity.  We conducted 22 semi-structured telephone interviews with hospice medical directors from each major geographic region of the US to understand physicians’ clinical and administrative perspectives regarding the effects of obesity on quality of hospice care for patients, caregivers, nurses, and other members of the hospice team.

 

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