31. CASE: Stakeholders’ Role in Decision-Making

This case concerns parental involvement in decision-making related to maintaining a residential facility for adolescent patients. Due to a lack of sustainable funding, in consultation with the operations team, the facility board has made a decision to close the facility. The requestor indicated that the parents of the adolescent residents were concerned because they felt that they were not being respected within the decision-making process, i.e., their status did not feel equal to that of the health care professionals involved in the process.

The parents felt that they had not had adequate opportunity to express their concerns or to contribute their perspectives. They expressed concern over their current level of involvement in terms of:

  • Its contrast to their previous high level of involvement when the facility was being established
  • It not being in keeping with the organization’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

They described a secondary concern which had to do with the organization not honouring verbal promises related to the permanence of the residential facility that were made to the parents by hospital representatives when the facility was established.

  • Are there ethics concerns here?
  • How would you handle this request?

Some Values and Ethics Issues to Consider

  • Accountability
  • Resource allocation
  • Transparency
  • Compliance with policy
  • Duty to provide care
  • Organizational ethics
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