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Starting the Conversation of End of Life Care with a Loved One: October 22 Discussion to Help Families

October 10, 2013

Seminar Features Local Clinicians, Hosted by Copley Hospital Ethics Committee

Morrisville – Copley Hospital is pleased to announce a seminar that will help you start the conversation regarding end-of-life care with a loved one. The October 22nd seminar features several local clinicians and will help explain new legislation passed regarding patient choice. The featured speaker is Cindy Bruzzese, Executive Director of Vermont Ethics Network, who will present on the basics of Act 39, The Patient Choice and Control at End of Life. Local family practitioner Philip Kiely, MD of Morrisville Family Health Care will talk about how to begin the conversation of end-of-life-care. Copley Hospital Nurse Manager Donna Powell, RN will discuss useful definitions and hospital care and a representative from Lamoille Home Health and Hospice will speak about helping a loved one remain at home. You will also learn about family and community resources and the importance of advance directives. A question and answer session will follow.

“Starting the Conversation of End of Life Care” will be held Tuesday, October 22 at 6:00pm at the Green Mountain Technical & Career Center in Hyde Park. The seminar is a presentation of the Ethics Committee of the Copley Hospital Board of Trustees. Registration for this free meeting is suggested by calling Louise Feldman at 888-8291 or email If you or someone you know is at a point where preparing for end-of-life-care is a concern this meeting will help you.

About Copley Hospital Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee is a standing committee of the Copley Hospital Board of Trustees. Physicians, nurses, clergy, administrators, trustees and interested community members serve on the committee. Its role is to help patients and families, physicians, and hospital staff be informed and supported when making difficult ethical health-related decisions. According to Elizabeth Rouse, a Copley Hospital Trustee and chair of the Ethics Committee, a patient, family member, physician or staff member may request a consultation with the Ethics Committee if they are struggling with a difficult decision for a loved one or patient.

The Ethics Committee does not make decisions; rather they act as advisors providing guidance and perspective on individual patient care. Rouse explains that they listen and help provide more information and increase understanding among all involved. She provides the following examples of when an ethics consultation might be used:

  • Decisions about how long to continue major treatments for a patient who is doing poorly
  • Decisions on to withhold or withdraw life-staining treatment
  • Uncertainty regarding who should help with decisions for someone who is too ill to make his or her wishes known.

During an ethics consultation, a subcommittee of the Ethics Committee will meet with the individual requesting the consultation. The committee strives to hold consultations within 24 hours of the request. The entire process is completely confidential.