Clinical Ethics

The CVMC Ethics Committee offers educational programs on clinical ethics and provides consultation on ethical issues that arise during patient care.

The Ethics Committee at Central Vermont Medical Center uses a collaborative approach to help patients, families, and clinicians work through difficult situations.

The Ethics Committee does not hand down decisions or mandate actions; rather, it facilitates an exploration of the ethical aspects of health care decisions, to ensure that patients'/residents’ rights are respected.

An ethics consultation might be considered when you have concerns about:

  • Limitation of treatment
  • Interpretation or application of advance directives
  • Selection of an appropriate surrogate for a patient
  • Appropriate limits to parental authority for medical decision-making
  • Assessment of competence to consent or refuse
  • Use of scarce or expensive resources
  • Assessment of differing cultural or religious beliefs
  • Requests for potentially inappropriate or unorthodox therapies
  • Decision-making for socially isolated patients
  • Issues of confidentiality
  • Consent for research
  • Financial constraints on treatment

To request an ethics consultation, ask any member of your medical team, or contact patient advocacy by phone: 802-371-4350, or by email:

The Ethics Committee at CVMC takes a compassionate, multidisciplinary approach, seeking the input of all who care for the patient. Please consider an ethics consultation when important questions arise concerning optimum care.