Medical Ethics

The Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Section of Medical Ethics is a multidisciplinary group of nurses, administrators, clergy, physicians, lawyers, social workers, physicians in training, and community representatives.

We seek to improve patient care by facilitating discussion of problematic clinical concerns such as withholding and withdrawing treatment, and surrogate decision making.

To promote the patient-centered values of traditional medicine the section seeks to uphold the traditional Lahey Hospital & Medical Center values of the patient centered compassionate health care. We support the traditional values of medicine that emphasize the prime importance of the patient's welfare.

  • We seek to foster empathy by a better understanding of the human aspects of illness.
  • We hope to comfort patients, families, and friends by helping them negotiate the difficult decisions demanded by modern medicine.
  • We seek to improve the philosophic understanding of the problematic issues of modern medicine and biology.
  • We seek to help our organization make ethically appropriate institutional decisions.
  • We seek to support and comfort our colleagues who are struggling under the stress of ethically challenging situations.
  • We seek to improve communication and negotiate conflict between patients, families, friends and healthcare providers.


The major tool of the Section of Medical Ethics is education by engaging in a philosophic discussion of the many troubling issues in medicine.

We sponsor the Lahey Clinic Section of Medical Ethics Lecture Series which is open to clinic personnel and the general public.

The Lahey Clinic Journal of Medical Ethics features writings by highly regarded scholars and is published three times a year. Sign up to receive the Journal of Medical Ethics electronically 

The Lahey Clinic Section of Medical Ethics Consultation Service responds to requests for consultation from patients, health care providers and families.

The Lahey Clinic Section of Medical Ethics supports an Ethics Library in the main clinic library that contains books, journals and videotapes of its ethics lectures.

The Lahey Clinic Section of Medical Ethics has written policies for the clinic on a variety of subjects.

The Lahey Clinic Section of Medical Ethics has a formal education program for medical students and resident house staff.