Patient Resources
Ethics Center

Ethics Center

The Ethics Center at Cincinnati Children’s helps families, healthcare professionals, researchers and administrators address the ethical issues that may arise during the treatment and care of our patients.   

Led by center director Armand Antommaria, MD, PhD, we have three main areas of focus:

  • Clinical ethics. In collaboration with the Ethics Committee and Ethics Consultation Subcommittee, we help patients, families and healthcare providers address ethical issues during clinical treatment.  The center also helps healthcare providers and administrators address broader policy issues.
  • Research ethics. In collaboration with the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training, we help researchers and research participants consider ethical issues entailed by their activities.
  • Organizational ethics. We support efforts of the Cincinnati Children’s administration to reflect on the ethical implications of the medical center’s business decisions. 

The Ethics Center achieves these goals through:

  • Teaching. We provide education to a wide variety of people using different teaching methods.  The center provides lectures and facilitates small-group discussions for trainees, staff and faculty.
  • Service. We support many committees and programs.  In addition to the Ethics Committee and the Ethics Consultation Subcommittee, center faculty participate in other committees on an ongoing and an ad hoc basis.
  • Research. Center faculty also conduct their own research frequently in collaboration with other faculty and staff at Cincinnati Children’s.  This research contributes to improved decision making as well as disseminating the best practices developed here.

Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee is a multidisciplinary group that develops and reviews policy, provides education and reviews clinical ethics consultations.  Members include parents, nurses, physicians, psychologists, social workers, lawyers and ethicists.  It focuses on policies with significant ethical components such as informed consent and advance directives. Its Education Subcommittee provides teaching on clinical ethics throughout Cincinnati Children’s.

Ethics Consultation Subcommittee

The Ethics Consultation Subcommittee consults with patients, families and staff to help address ethical uncertainty or conflict. Sometimes the right thing to do is unclear and sometimes people disagree about what is the right thing to do.  The consultants, who have specialized training and experience, help individuals and teams think through the ethical issues and develop a plan.

How to Reach Us

The Ethics Consultation Subcommittee can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  To contact the consultant on call, call 513-636-4200 (local) or 1-800-344-2462 (toll free) and ask the operator to page Ethics Consultation. If you have not received a call back within 15 minutes, have us paged again.