Ethics Concerns

Medical care can be complex and confusing and can touch on many of our important values and ideals. The Ethics Committee at UNC Hospitals is a group prepared to listen and respond to anyone needing help making difficult health care decisions or finding a resolution to differences in views about health care for themselves or for a loved one.

Members from the Hospital Ethics Committee have experience in helping patients, families and health care providers think and talk about health care ethics questions. The committee is made up of physicians, nurses, hospital chaplains, social workers, persons trained in ethics and law, and representatives from the general public. Concerns may be brought to the committee by a patient or family member; or by a physician, nurse or other health care provider.

A few examples of areas that this committee can help with are:

  • Decisions to continue or stop particular treatments
  • Decisions to start or continue interventions at the end of life such as breathing or feeding tubes
  • How to make health care decisions for others
  • Difficulties in communication


To consult with a member of the Hospital Ethics Committee, call (919) 843-1470.  There is no charge for this service.

For employees of UNC Hospitals and Clinics, the Hospital Ethics Committee provides other services as well. The Committee offers ethics education and assistance with the creation or revision of policies that address ethical concerns. Also call (919) 843-1470 for the Education or Policy service.

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