What Seriously Ill Patients Should Know

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Below are some questions that seriously ill patients and their loved ones may have in regard to treatment:

We are here to help

As part of your healthcare team, nurses, social workers, chaplains and members of the Bioethics Department are available to you for support and guidance. We encourage you to take advantage of their assistance. Learn more about them:


Ethics consultation is a service provided to all patients and their families through the Bioethics Department. Upon request, the Ethics Consultation Service can provide ethical advice related to issues arising in the course of patient care. There is no charge for this service.

Ask your physician, nurse or other member of the healthcare team to communicate your request for an ethics consultation. You may also choose to call the Bioethics Department directly at 216.444.8720 during normal business hours. On evenings and weekends, you can ask the hospital operator (216.444.2200) to page the Ethics Consultation Service.

Nurses can assist you by answering questions or directing you to other members of the healthcare team. Furthermore, they can assist you in discussing treatment decisions with your doctor. They can also help you consider your choices or options and deal with your feelings and concerns.

Our chaplains can offer assistance with spiritual or personal problems and needs. They also can assist you or your family during times of crisis. If you face decisions about life support systems, the chaplains can offer you guidance. They will help you consider your options and help you deal with your feelings and beliefs.

Social workers also are available to you and your family. They can guide you through the difficult social and emotional questions that can arise during times of illness. Social workers can help with family stresses and coping with the results of a decision. Their counsel and information can provide you and your family with additional support to face these decisions together.

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