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BOPDHB Clinical Ethics Committee Terms of Reference


1.  Purpose of the Committee

1.1    To advise on ethical issues pertaining to health care within the DHB area.

NB:  It is to be noted that the CEC is not involved in 'research approval or activity' that should otherwise have been referred to a Regional Ethics Committee.


2.  Objectives

2.1  The objective of the Committee is to support the formation and maintenance of an ethics based culture within the BOPDHB.


3.  Functions of the Committee

3.1  Provide ethical opinions on matters submitted to the Committee based on accepted professional, national and international ethical guidelines.  The Committee may co-opt other appropriate representation or expertise.

3.2  To evaluate the ethical elements of innovative clinical procedures and practices that have the potential to impact on patient or population health outcomes.

3.3  To provide advice on the ethics of resource allocation decisions through representation on the Products Evaluation Group.

3.4  To disseminate reports on clinical ethical learning and advice given to relevant parties.

3.5  Review organizational guidelines and policies that have a strong ethical component.

3.6  Encourage the development of an organizational culture where at all times the ethical considerations owed to the patient/client/consumer and society are paramount and in which practitioners advocate appropriately for their patients.

3.7  Provide an accessible and approachable forum to discuss ethical dilemmas that have not been resolved through other channels

3.8  Advocate for the provision of educational opportunities on ethical issues within the BOPDHB.


4. Meetings

4.1  Scheduled meeting every two months.

4.2  At the request of health providers, patients or families, to advise on the decision making process regarding ethical issues.  The advice of the Committee will be communicated to the party(ies) requesting the review within 24 hours of the meeting (or immediately following the meeting if the matter is urgent).

4.3  A roster to be established for when advice is required for urgent after-hours situations.

4.4  Convening special meeting:  the Secretary to the Committee, Medical Directorate will convene the CEC.


5. Membership

Chair: Chairperson to be elected by the membership and endorsed by the CEO

Minute Taker: Secretary to the Committee

Membership: Membership will be drawn from a wide spectrum of health professionals and lay people from within and outside the DHB.  The members will have a particular interest in clinical ethics and will have been confirmed as people with the right skill set to advise with decision making on ethical issues.  It is anticipated that the CEC will have a balanced membership in terms of gender, ethnicity and clinical/lay background.

Quorum: Half the membership.


 6.  Reporting

 6.1  Parties relevant to specific issues.

 6.2  Clinical Board.


 7.  Review Date

 These terms of reference will be reviewed every two years. 

 Authorised by: Chief Executive Officer      

Last updated: August 29, 2018