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Ethics is everywhere in health care because every person matters

Ethics is the discipline that examines who we ought to be and what we ought to do in light of who we say we are. Who we say we are is based on our individual, professional, and societal values. Almost every decision, action, and attitude of ours, personally and professionally, is based on these values. The application of ethics will guide thoughtful decision-making processes grounded in transparency, trust, fairness, equity, and safety.

Interior Health (IH) takes its commitment to fostering a culture of ethical awareness and responsibility seriously. We are building the organization’s capacity and providing support to health-care providers in dealing with ethical issues. It is essential that we meet the highest ethical standards when delivering quality health care and providing services to the people we serve.

Interior Health Ethics Framework

The IH Ethics Framework and Decision Making Guide has been developed with this in mind. Firstly, as a guide to assist employees and medical staff in framing discussions and making decisions when faced with challenging ethical issues in any area of health care: clinical, business, health technology, human resources, public health, quality improvement, evaluation, or research. Secondly, the framework exists to re-affirm the professional standards of practice and codes of ethics of employees, medical staff, and contracted services within IH, and our mandated obligations of duty to care.
Intended users are all IH employees and medical staff (e.g., physicians, nurse practitioners, etc.), and volunteer services. The ultimate goal is to embed ethics reflection and action into all aspects of the delivery of health-care services across Interior Health.

Ethics Council

The IH Ethics Council provides guidance in interpretation and application of the principles of the IH ethics framework and supports ethical practice in all IH sites, programs, and services. The Council’s function is to promote an integrated approach to ethics quality for our people, systems, and processes.

Business Ethics
IH is committed to fostering integrity in our workplace through ethical business practices.

Clinical Ethics
The sphere of clinical ethics is focused on promoting the provision of quality health care with primary consideration to the needs, values, and preferences of the person receiving care. Clinical Ethics Committees support patients, families and health care providers with identifying and finding resolution for ethical issues in clinical care.
Health Technology Ethics
Health Technology Assessment uses standardized criteria to evaluate and support decisions involving the implementation of new and proven technologies or the disinvestment of obsolete technologies across the health authority.
Project Ethics
All projects involving people and their private information require ethics review using the ARECCI© process. Ethics must be considered in all stages of a project and using the tools will guide project teams in managing the ethical concerns identified during project development. Using an ethical review framework and a validated process to review projects that helps to ensure that we protect the people we serve, our staff, and the organization. 
Public Health Ethics
Public Health ethics is concerned with the collective interests of a population (the public, a group, society, or community) for the common good. Many public health activities are not carried out independently; there is often a strong relationship with municipal, provincial or federal government influence where policy and practice intersect. Ethical issues may occur in any of the core public health functions: health protection, disease and injury prevention, health promotion, health assessment and surveillance, and emergency preparedness and response.
For public health consultation contact the Office of the Medical Health Officer.
Research Ethics
The Research Ethics Board provides ethical review of all research involving human participants that is conducted under the auspices of Interior Health to ensure the protection of participants, researchers and the organization.
For more information see Research Ethics Board.
MoH     PCQO