UB Center for Clinical
Ethics and Humanities in Health Care

Ethics Committee Core Curriculum

Definition Of Terms

Institutional ethics committees vary widely in their composition, usually in an attempt to assure a broad based multi-disciplinary membership. In addition to those with clinical experience, many committees include representation from Pastoral Care, Social Work, and Law backgrounds, and often a member with a more academic orientation. Moreover, most committees find it important to include individuals from the lay community to help provide a "patient's perspective." While most committees find that this diversity strengthens the committee, it inevitably creates communication problems since many are not familiar with either medical terminology, jargon, or the basic language of ethical or legal discourse. The following glossaries of common medical and bioethical terms will enable new committee members to more easily follow technical discussions.

  1. Common Medical Terminology
  2. Commonly Used Ethical Terms

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Last Revised 3/3/97