The Mary Greeley Medical Center Bio-Ethics Committee helps patients and families make difficult decisions that are sometimes necessary when facing a health crisis.

Few of us are prepared intellectually or emotionally to make some of the medical decisions that may save a life or end a life. But sometimes a decision must be made. If you are unable to do so with your physician and treatment team, our Bio-Ethics Committee is prepared to help.

The committee includes nurses, social workers, physicians, clergy, lawyers and community representatives. The specific issues confronting you or your loved one will determine which members will be involved in evaluating your case.

When you feel you need assistance, consult with your nursing unit clinical supervisor. Here's what will happen:

  • Within 24 hours, a group of Bio-Ethics Committee members will evaluate your case and determine if it should be taken to the full committee.
  • If the full committee meets, it will research the options and communicate them to the patient, physicians and treatment team.
  • Based on the information provided by the Bio-Ethics Committee, the patient or his/her representative, the physician and the treatment team will reach a decision.

The Bio-Ethics Committee will not make a decision for you. It offers ethical options and helps analyze the situation on a case by case basis. Among those items to be considered are your desires, legal liabilities, written or oral self-directives, and whether or not there is a consensus that will allow each member of the group to be comfortable with the outcome.

Advance Directives

A Living Will is a type of advance directive that documents personal wishes about end-of-life medical treatment in case decision-making or communication abilities are lost.

Download a Living Will

Download Combined Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney

The IPOST is a physicians order form that details a patient's end-of-life treatment choices, designed to be portable and honored in any treatment setting.

Download an IPOST