Although the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has not specifically mandated ethics committees, some of its current requirements are often satisfied by maintaining an ethics committee. These JCAHO rules are discussed in this section. Closer to home, the NYS Family Health Care Decisions Bill has been introduced in the past few legislative sessions. If and when this bill becomes law, it will explicitly define new roles for ethics committees and dictate certain membership requirements.
The issue of consultation expertise and credentialing has been a concern of many in regard to both committee and solo consultants. A joint task force of the Society for Health an Human Values, and the Society for Bioethics Consultation is currently attempting to deal with such questions. The minutes of this task force meetings are also included in this section.
In addition to the material above, a number of helpful internet resources are available from other institutions.
The University of Kansas Medical Center has put their Hospital Ethics Handbook on line