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Ethics Consultation Service

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If you are a Baystate Health patient, family member, or health care professional faced with an ethical dilemma, the Ethics Consultation Service is here to help.

What is an Ethics Consultation?

An ethics consultation is a facilitated conversation that helps patients, families, and health care providers identify, analyze, and resolve ethical problems.

Ethical questions can come up in a variety of situations, for example:

  • When patients are unable to make their own medical decisions
  • When it is unclear if the side effects of treatment are worth the expected benefits
  • When medical treatments appear to conflict with a patient or health care provider's values

No fees are charged for this service and all consults are kept strictly confidential (within the limits of law).

When to Request an Ethics Consultation

Request an ethics consult when you feel that you could benefit from a facilitated conversation about the values at stake in the delivery of medical care at Baystate Health. No issue is too large or small to qualify.

How to Request an Ethics Consultation

The Ethics Consultation Service is available 24 hours a day by pager (use extension 4702 or search "Ethics" in WebPaging). Patients can call 413-794-0000 and ask the hospital operator to page Dr. Peter DePergola, Baystate Health's Director of Clinical Ethics.

You may also email Dr. DePergola. Upon receiving a request, we will make initial inquiries and arrange for a meeting that is appropriate to the needs of the parties involved.

Who Can Request an Ethics Consultation?

Any Baystate Health patient, family member, or health care provider may request a consultation at any time, for any reason.

About Dr. Peter DePergola

Dr. DePergola is the first full-time bioethicist on staff in the 130-plus year history of Baystate Health. He consults with patients, families, and health care professionals as they navigate moral decisions surrounding life and death. In addition to his many publications, research initiatives, and academic appointments, Dr. DePergola has developed innovative organizational policy related to public health pandemics, resource scarcity, and end-of-life care.