The Healthcare Ethics Committee (Comitè d'Ètica Assistencial, CEA) of the Hospital Clínic is a multidisciplinary advisory body whose main objectives include advising the centre's users and helping healthcare professionals in all matters relating to the proper provision of health services. The CEA also fosters the centre's awareness of bioethics, including bioethics training for healthcare professionals who work in this area and upholding the rights and responsibilities of patients in the health sector as established by the applicable laws and regulations.
To carry out these objectives, the CEA bases its work on the fundamental principles of bioethics that are universally established, as well as the recommendations, consensus, regulations and legislation issued by the competent authorities.
The Hospital Clínic CEA consists of different categories of members:
- Permanent members: they serve on the Committee according to their roles in the hospital according to the office they hold: Medical Director, Director of Nursing, General Counsel, Director of Quality and Clinical Safety, or persons to whom such roles are delegated.
- Appointed members: they are elected from among the centre's healthcare and non-healthcare professionals based on their interest in this subject, their professional skills and their capacity, among other things, to work as part of a team: doctors, nurses, assistants, social workers and supporting personnel.
- Ad hoc members, i.e. those chosen according to the needs of the situation at hand.
- External advisers: recognised experts in bioethics.
The CEA acts as an advisory body when timely clinical and healthcare decisions involving ethics are required, and these decisions can be requested by healthcare professionals and patients or by family members or close friends. The CEA also evaluates guidelines and protocols in common clinical and healthcare situations that may involve ethical problems, such as:
- Limitations to therapeutic effort
- Treatment at the end of life
- Refusal of treatment
- Conscientious objection
- Clinical information and documentation
- Organ transplants from living donors
- Compassionate treatment
- Assisted reproduction methods
- Informed consent
The CEA also develops programmes, courses and other training activities in bioethics for the hospital's professionals, especially those that promote knowledge of and disseminate the Users’ Rights among the centre's personnel.
Inquiries to the CEA can be made via the healthcare professionals in charge of the case to Customer Service or the CEA Chairman. Responses to the inquiries will be in writing, addressed to the person who made them.