Ethic committees may be composed of physicians, nurses and members of the following areas: pastoral care, the law, philosophy, social work, an institution representative, a community representative, etc.
They provide space where individuals are invited to engage in ethical reflection on issues of importance to thew institution, to patients, and the individuals who serve them.
Their role is to listen to all aspects of a problem, to discuss different viewpoints, to facilitate communication between persons who should be discussing the issues, to explicate the ethics issues and to support opinions.
They do no make recommendations, especially those for patient management or treatment.
They do not make final decisions.
Briggs M et al. A handbook of healthcare ethics and institutional ethics for staff in healthcare institutions. Edmonton. The Bioethics Centre. 1994. Page A:74.