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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Clinical Ethicist in Boston, Massachusetts

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Clinical Ethicist

Department Description:The Ethics Support Service (ESS) is a free consultation service that assists patients and families who are dealing with difficult health care decisions, and for clinicians facing an ethical issue related to care.

Job Location:Boston, MA

Req ID:35381BR

Job Summary:At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, it is the belief that ethics can never be separated from the daily care of our patients. Ethics became a formally recognized core program of the organization under the leadership of former president and current BIDMC trustee, Mitchell Rabkin, MD. The clinical ethicist position reports to the Director of the Ethics Programs at BIDMC and provides programmatic support to the BIDMC Ethics Support Service, primarily through education of BIDMC staff and case consultations with patients and families. Working under direction of the Ethics Support Service Director, this role promotes the Mission of BIDMC as a values-driven academic medical center by supporting ethics-related services and education to staff across the medical center. The Mission of Ethics Programs at BIDMC is to promote a culture in which all BIDMC staff appreciate the importance of the ethical aspects of their work (their decisions, actions, character, and morale), and have the support they need to do that work in accordance with BIDMC's and their own highest moral standards. The criteria of success are demonstrated by the fact that every staff member goes home at the end of their day/night justifiably proud of the work they did; and every patient and family member leaves justifiably grateful for the care they received.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Provide formal and informal multidisciplinary ethics consultations with patients and families, and coordinate follow-up from these sessions.

  • Organize and participate in clinical ethics rounds, and collaborate with clinical teams, patients and families, and administrative staff to address ethical issues.

  • Hold the Ethics Support Service (ESS) on-call pager and respond appropriately with on-demand ethics assessment and consultation.

  • Provide education and support to BIDMC clinical and administrative teams about clinical ethics and specific concerns raised by care teams.

  • Remain knowledgeable in trends.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in RN or MSW Social Work required.

  • License Registered Nurse required., or Registration Master of Social Work required., or Certificate 1 Nat Assoc of Jewish Chaplains required., or Certificate 2 NatAssoc Catholic Chaplains required., and This position can be filled by an RN or an MSW or Chaplain.

  • 1-3 years related work experience required.

  • This position can be filled by an RN, MSW or Chaplain. Minimum of 3 years of experience in a clinical setting. Must have education and certification based on these roles.

  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, oral and written communication skills in order to mediate challenging ethical scenarios with patients, families, clinicians, and other staff.

  • Must carry a pager Monday through Friday daytime hours.

  • Experience with computer systems required, including web based applications and some Microsoft Office applications which may include Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Access.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Formal training in ethics and experience in ethics consultation.


  • Decision Making:Ability to make decisions that are guided by general instructions and practices requiring some interpretation. May make recommendations for solving problems of moderate complexity and importance.

  • Problem Solving:Ability to address problems that are varied, requiring analysis or interpretation of the situation using direct observation, knowledge and skills based on general precedents.

  • Independence of Action:Ability to follow precedents and procedures. May set priorities and organize work within general guidelines. Seeks assistance when confronted with difficult and/or unpredictable situations. Work progress is monitored by supervisor/manager.

  • Written Communications:Ability to summarize and communicate in English moderately complex information in varied written formats to internal and external customers.

  • Oral Communications:Ability to comprehend and communicate complex verbal information in English to medical center staff, patients, families and external customers.

  • Knowledge:Ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of concepts, practices and policies with the ability to use them in complex varied situations.

  • Team Work:Ability to work collaboratively in small teams to improve the operations of immediate work group by offering ideas, identifying issues, and respecting team members.

  • Customer Service:Ability to provide a high level of customer service and staff training to meet customer service standards and expectations for the assigned unit(s). Resolves service issues in the assigned unit(s) in a timely and respectful manner.

Age based Competencies:

Employees in this job must be competent to provide patient care to the following age groups: Youth: 6 months to 16 years, Young adult: 16-30 years, Middle Age: 30 - 60 years, Elderly: 60 -.

Physical Nature of the Job:

Sedentary work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally in carrying, lifting, pushing, pulling objects. Sitting most of the time, with walking and standing required only occasionally