Board Policy CA-245: Ethical Considerations

Effective date: 2021-06-22

Policy

General provisions

The Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Vitalité Health Network (the “Network”) shall ensure that systems, structures, and policies and procedures are in place to efficiently manage and monitor the issue of ethics within the Network in order to protect the public and its employees and then maintain public confidence in the Network.

This commitment involves the adoption of a conceptual framework that integrates ethical considerations into the Network’s decision-making process at the clinical, organizational, and research levels.

Board’s responsibilities

The Board is responsible for ensuring that mechanisms and structures are in place to effectively manage all aspects of ethics.  The Board, through its Care Quality and Patient Safety Committee, reviews ethics-related policies as well as the terms of reference of its internal committees or working groups responsible for ethics and receives the monitoring reports submitted periodically by the senior management team.

Implementation and follow-up

The Board assigns the President and CEO the responsibility for developing and implementing all strategies, policies, and procedures designed to ensure that principles and practices related to ethics are integrated into all aspects of the Network’s philosophy, culture, and operational planning.

The CEO is also responsible for putting in place any committee or working group required to address ethical issues other than research ethics.  The members of these committees and working groups must possess the qualifications, expertise, and training needed to perform the ethical examinations requested of them.

Research ethics

The Board also assigns the CEO the responsibility for establishing a research ethics board that is independent, competent, and not bound to the research sector and whose primary role is to examine research ethics within the organization.

Reporting to the Board through the Care Quality and Patient Safety Committee, the Research Ethics Board considers current or proposed research under the Network’s auspices or authority involving any research on human remains, cadavers, tissues, body fluids, embryos or fetuses or identifiable personal information about the participants and examines the compliance of this research against research ethics standards.  The Research Ethics Board has the power to approve, reject, make changes to, or discontinue any research that it is asked to consider.

The members of the Research Ethics Board must have the qualifications, expertise and training needed to examine the ethical issues raised by research proposals within the Network.