Clinical Ethicist

What is a Clinical Ethicist?

A clinical ethicist is a specialized professional who navigates the ethical complexities within healthcare and medical decision-making. At Northeast Georgia Health System, we want to ensure our providers, patients, and families have the necessary support they need in addressing intricate ethical issues that may arise during medical care.

Why does Clinical Ethics matter?

Clinical ethicists play a vital role in ensuring that healthcare decisions adhere to established ethical norms. They respect all individuals involved, recognizing the uniqueness of each patient’s situation. Clinical ethicists take an interdisciplinary approach, collaborating closely with healthcare providers, legal experts, and patients. By addressing ethical concerns comprehensively and compassionately, clinical ethicists contribute to the well-being of both patients and the healthcare organization.

What are common ethical dilemmas in healthcare?

End-of-Life Decisions:

  • When patients or their family members disagree about medical decisions, ethical dilemmas emerge.
  • Choosing between aggressive treatment, palliative care, or allowing a natural death can be emotionally charged.

Patient Refusal of Treatment:

  • When patients decline recommended treatments, healthcare providers might grapple with respecting these choices.
  • Balancing patient autonomy with the duty to prevent harm is a common ethical dilemma.

Cultural and Religious Conflicts:

  • Medical providers may have a limited understanding of a patients’ cultural or religious beliefs and how they influence their medical decisions.
  • Ethical dilemmas arise when providing care that aligns with institutional policies while respecting individual values.

How to request a consultation

If you or a loved one has questions or concerns about an ethical matter while being seen at a Northeast Georgia Medical Center campus, the healthcare team may request a consult through Epic, or you can contact the Clinical Ethicist directly at or 770-219-0170.