The mission of the Bioethics, Law and Medical Professionalism Program is to provide outstanding instruction, professional development and cultural competency to manage the complex health care dilemmas being addressed locally, nationally and internationally. Our program addresses issues in humanities, social sciences, health policy, health law and medical professionalism for medical students, residents and practicing physicians, as well as other healthcare professionals.
Research, teaching and service activities of the program focus on developing the knowledge base and skills to provide humane, compassionate care in today’s complex social and medico-legal environment. Areas of research interest for the program include aging, end-of-life issues, and advances in genetic technology.
Bioethics touches everyone. To understand this, here is a list of topics to consider: cloning, DNA research, end-of-life treatment and decisions, genetic modification, physician-aid-in-dying, confidentiality, HIV and AIDS, parental decision-making, and spirituality and medicine.
Core BLMP Faculty
Associated BLMP Faculty
Rohit P Patel M.D.
Core Program Faculty are faculty members in the Department of Community Health and Family Medicine.
Associated Program Faculty are faculty members in CHFM as well as other departments/colleges in the UF Health Science Center. They support the BLMP Core Program Faculty and contribute to teaching bioethics to medical students throughout all four years of the curriculum.
Many healthcare choices involve an ethical concern or conflict. Ethical concerns may be triggered by events such as a patient’s wish to refuse seemingly tolerable life-sustaining treatment, or by patients and/or family members requesting treatments that are likely to be harmful. Difficult decisions can quickly become overwhelming. The ethics consultant is available to hear such concerns and provide recommendations informed by ethical analyses, a large bioethics literature, and Florida law.
Requests for a consultation may be made by the patient, a family member, the physician, the social worker, nurse or other staff member. To request a consultation, one can call the Ethics Consult Service number (352-265-8900) to send a message to the consultant on call. The ethics consultant will then attempt to return the call within 24 hours. Most requests receive a response on the same day. Hospital staff may request an ethics consultation directly via SPOK (search for “ETHICS – Ethics Consult Team – Primary First Call”).
The goal of this process is to promote the best possible medical care in situations wherein the available options all seem to be disappointing or inadequate. Concerns about the ethics of a situation or treatment recommendation can often be resolved via a discussion with the ethics consultant. More serious issues are taken up by a subgroup of several ethics consultants who discuss the situation at hand and formulate one or more recommendations. The most serious issues result in Ethics Consultation Team meetings in which a larger group of consultants develop a careful analysis and recommendations. Sometimes it is helpful to schedule a meeting that might include the patient, family members, and members of the treatment team as well as members of the Ethics Consultation Team. Recommendations are then shared with the patient, family, and the care team as appropriate. Lastly, the physician in charge of the patient’s care may choose to follow some or all of those recommendations while in consultation with the patient, family, and care team members.
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