Clinical Staff Office

Ethics Committee


Chair: Robert Boyle, M.D.


The Ethics Committee is an interdisciplinary committee charged with assisting leadership in ensuring consistency between mission and values, organizational behaviors and clinical practice. It has three primary functions, which include conducting education on ethical issues, recommending policies that are ethically important, and conducting case reviews with respect to ethical issues.

Membership: Representatives from the Clinical Staff, Nursing Staff, faculty of the School of Nursing, the Center for Biomedical Ethics, Chaplaincy Department, Social Work, Medical Center Administration, Community Member. The Director of Risk Management and a representative from the University General Counsel's Office will be ex-officio members.

Staff support is provided by Ethics Committee Chair's administrative staff.

Meetings: The Ethics Committee shall meet as necessary but at least quarterly.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Recommends new or revised policies and guidelines that concern organizational or clinical ethical issues
  • Provides institutional direction regarding education related to ethical issues
  • Provides an ethics consult service to clinicians, patients and families
  • Provides organizational guidance and oversight to ensure compliance with patients rights regulations
  • Establishes an education program for current and potential committee members to ensure a comfortable working knowledge of basic ethical principles and how to apply them at the individual and institutional level
  • Identifies ethical issues within the organization and makes recommendation for change
  • Provides an annual report to the Clinical Staff Executive Committee

Current Members

 Members Area
 Robert Boyle, MD, Chair Pediatrics 
 Jeffrey Barth, PhD Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences
 James Childress, PhD. Religious Studies 
 Marcia Childress, PhD Humanities in Medicine 
 Elizabeth Epstein, RN, PhD
School of Nursing Faculty
 Lynne Fleming, Esq. General Counsel 
 Daryl Gress, MD
Neurology, ACMO Critical Care
 Beth Hodsdon, JD General Counsel 
 Christine Lau, MD
 Liza Letzkus, RN
 Jackie Loach, RN Patient Safety
 Dea Mahanes, RN
Critical Care 
 Mary Faith Marshall, PhD
Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities
 Sue McCoy, MD, PhD, FACS Community 
 Joann Pinkerton, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology 
 William Potts, MSW Social Worker 
 Gordon Putnam, D. Min.
 Lois Shepherd, JD Center for Biomedical Ethics 
 Lori Strauss, RN Compliance 
 Cindy Wesley, RN Community Relations