Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Trustees practice ethics
At BIDMC, we have a "bicameral" form of governance. Our 20-member Board of Directors has formal fiduciary responsibility for the hospital. They are aided by a 50-member Board of Trustees who run the various board committees (from finance to patient care to community benefits and so on.) The trustees meet quarterly as a group, too, to receive updates on hospital matters and to hear a presentation on some topic of general interest. In addition we also have a larger community advisory group, called the Board of Overseers, many of whose members choose to serve on board committees, too.
Today, a joint meeting of the Trustees and Overseers offered something new, a discussion on medical ethics led by Dr. Lachlan Forrow, Director of our Ethics Support Services. After Lachlan gave an ethics overview and introduction of our program, the Trustees and Overseers were given actual case studies to discuss and debate, much the way our staff does in our regular ethics conferences. Members of the ethics staff facilitated conversations at each table, and then Lachlan offered a summation.
Trustees and Overseers expressed great appreciation for the event, in that it provided an insight into the difficulties faced by caregivers when ethical issues arise during medical treatment. They also understood that they have an important role in setting the ethical standards for our hospital.
Posted by Paul Levy at 4/22/2009 10:40:00 AM