Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics

Bioethics Consultation Service

What is a bioethics consultation?

Bioethics consultations provide a forum for conversation and analysis about ethical uncertainty or disagreements. Bioethics consultants offer advice and recommendations but do not make decisions.

Generally, consultations are handled by an individual consultant or team of consultants.

There are different levels of involvement by the bioethics consultation team, depending on the needs of the request. Options include:

  • A discussion by phone or in-person meeting
  • A multidisciplinary team meeting
  • A conversation with the patient, research participant and/or family

Within legal constraints, we can keep conversations confidential. When requested, we can provide a written report or a medical record note.

Because there are so few consultation services that specifically focus on issues in pediatrics or research, our clinical bioethics consultants at the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics and our research bioethics consultants at the Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) are available to offer informal advice to people outside our institutions.

Requesting Clinical Bioethics Consultations at Seattle Children’s

Bioethics consultations can be requested by families, clinical staff or administrators.

Consults can be requested by contacting the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at 206-884-8355. Seattle Children's staff may also request a bioethics consult by placing an order in CIS and calling the paging operator at 206-987-2000, then asking to speak to the clinical bioethics consultant on call. A consultant will respond within four hours.

Read more about requesting clinical bioethics consultations (PDF).

Patients and families: Need help making difficult medical decisions for your child? Learn how the Bioethics team can help (PDF).

Requesting Research Bioethics Consultations at the Institute of Translational Health Sciences

Research bioethics consultations can be requested by families, trainees, research staff, investigators or institutional review boards.

Consults can be requested by contacting the ITHS office at 206-616-3875 or by email. A consultant will respond within one business day.

Read more about requesting research bioethics consultations (PDF).