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.
An ethics committee provides space where individuals are invited to engage in ethical reflection on issues of importance to the institution, to patients, and the individuals who serve them.
The role of an ethics committee is to listen to all aspects of a problem, discuss different viewpoints, facilitate communication between persons who should be discussing the issues, explicate the ethics issues, and support opinions.
They do not make recommendations, particularly 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. p. A:74.