Integrating Bioethics @ Geisinger
Launched as a system-wide initiative in Fall 2012, Integrating Bioethics @ Geisinger is based on the premise that a systematic, comprehensive approach to bioethics is fundamental, both to improving the quality of patient care throughout the Geisinger Health System and to ensuring the integrity of research. Integrating Bioethics @ Geisinger brings together groups and individuals who are committed to several shared aims:
- To provide timely, helpful clinical ethics advice and consultation to patients and their families, as well as to the physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who care for them
- To provide sound advice and consultation to investigators engaged in research and to groups and individuals devoted to research oversight
- To educate health professionals, biomedical researchers, and the public about ethics in health care and bioscience
- To develop sound, evidence-based and ethically enlightened policies
- To identify and prevent systemic ethical problems, in patient care as well as research
- To improve ethics quality in patient care and research oversight
- To conduct and promote ethics scholarship and research
With a focus on these aims, Integrating Bioethics @ Geisinger embraces efforts on two interrelated fronts. On one front, ethics committees at the hospitals within the Geisinger Health System are either being strengthened or established. On the second front, a new entity — the Geisinger Center for Rural Bioethics — is beginning to take shape.
With the recruitment of a system-wide director for bioethics in September 2012 and, at present, the pending recruitment of a clinical ethicist and a research ethicist, the Center is now in formation and will eventually consist of a core staff of additional research and clinical ethicists, along with a growing corps of affiliated professionals — clinicians and investigators who’ve made a conscientious commitment to exploring the ethical dimensions of their work and to reflecting that commitment in daily practice.