Ethical Support

Everyone has a role to play in ensuring the ethical delivery of care. Ethical principles and values are incorporated into the way that decisions are made and care is delivered every day at Headwaters Health Care Centre.

The Research Ethics Board
The William Osler Health System Research Ethics Board is the official Board of Record for Headwaters Health Care Centre. All forms and submission information can be found on the Research Ethics Board website.
How Can an Ethicist Help Me or My Family?
The Ethicist is a resource for patients and families who are faced with difficult ethical issues and may be asking “what should we do” or “what is the right thing to do?” After discussing treatment decisions with your health care team, you may wish to contact the Ethicist for any of the following reasons:
  • If you are uncertain about what decision should be made
  • If there are differences of opinion about what decision should be made
  • If you would like to explore further the ethical and legal aspects of a decision
Ethical Decision-Making Framework
Headwaters' ethical decision-making framework provides a step-by-step process to help guide healthcare providers and administrators in working through ethical issues.
It is comprised of the following steps:

Identifying the facts (consider clinical indications, patient preferences, evidence, contextual features. Ask: What is the ethical issue?

Determining the relevant ethical principles (e.g., autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance, justice). Ask: Have perspectives of relevant individuals been sought?

Exploring the options (consider strengths & limitations, harms & benefits, laws & policies, consistent with mission, vision, & values). Ask: What is the most ethically justifiable option?

Taking action (recommend, implement, evaluate). Ask: Am I (are we) comfortable with this decision?

How Do I Contact an Ethicist at Headwaters Health Care Centre?
Sandy Critchley, Director of Quality, Patient Safety & Risk Management, 519-942-2410 ext. 3210
Barbara Moulton, Pastoral Care Coordinator at 519.941.2410 ext. 2710
Dr. Jill Oliver, Ethical Support and Consultation Services, 647-278-0965 
What is Your Role in Health Care Decision Making in Ontario?
In Ontario, the Health Consent Care Act tells us. This video covers what you need to know about your role in health care decision making: