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Home » Ethics Services » Ethical Decision Guides

Ethical Decision Guides

Applied Ethics Strategy

Ethical decisions happen often in health care. Some can be distressing and will profoundly affect the people involved. Some ethical questions are specific to the care of an individual person. Others concern issues and conflicts about how the organization functions and makes decisions.

Whatever the cause, people facing difficult ethical decisions need help to work through the problem and arrive at a solution that is best for the situation, all things considered. A decision-making guide or tool can be very helpful.

Decision-making guides are systematic and thorough. They can help to make sure no important factors are missed or forgotten in the process. They can also help address some of the moral distress that goes along with difficult ethical situations, by ensuring a good process is followed. In the end, the goal is for a decision that everyone can understand and live with, even when they might not agree 100 per cent.

Do you have a difficult decision to make? Are you involved in a tough choice or a distressing situation?

Decision tools help guide the discussion about the ethical implications of various options. They can help people feel comfortable that everything was discussed and the best possible decision was made. The WRHA has developed decision guides to help walk you through the process of making a difficult decision. We have recently revised these tools for a more streamlined and simpler process.

Use the new Ethical Decision Guide to help you work through a problem:

Older versions of the WRHA Decision Guides

The tools developed by WRHA Ethics Services in 2016 for use in patient care and non-patient care situations will eventually be replaced with the new simpler version, but we will continue to make the older versions available for those who still prefer them. This video provides an overview of the guides and how to use them.

  • If you are a patient or family member with a tough decision to make, the Patient and Family Decision Guide might be a helpful tool. This tool has been translated into a number of languages and also have a video guide.

Documents on this site are available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact [email protected] for more information.