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Catholic Healthcare Ethics

Since the Sisters of St. Joseph established their first facilities in southwestern Ontario in the 1880s, ethical reflection has been a cornerstone of the organizations we sponsor. Ethics addresses how we make decisions and follow through with actions as individuals, organizations and communities. Whether it is in a clinical setting, the workplace environment or the boardroom, having a commitment to ethical reflection means bringing the best of wisdom and lived experience to bear on decision making and living with integrity.

As a Catholic healthcare organization, St. Joseph’s Health Care Society, along with the organizations we sponsor, follow the Health Ethics Guide published by the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (CHAC). It is foundational to the work we do. Rooted in the Catholic Church’s moral and social traditions, the Guide serves to guide the development of local protocols. It was intentionally developed to be accessible to staff, administrators and Board members alike. It also outlines the moral obligations for the sponsors/owners, boards, members of ethics committees and personnel of Catholic health and social service organizations.

It is important to note that the Guide also complements other initiatives in the Church’s healing ministry, such as spiritual and religious care, organizational mission and values integration, ethics committees and centres, and parish-based ministry and nursing, through which caregivers are becoming more aware of the broader aspects of their healing ministry.