The Role of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist on Health Care Institutional Ethics Committees

Sandra B. Sexson, William R. Sexson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Over the past 30 years, institutional ethics committees have become the standard vehicle for addressing ethical issues in health care institutions. Early in this development, general psychiatrists became integrally involved; however, child and adolescent psychiatry roles on institutional ethics committees have been delineated less clearly. This article provides an overview of the functioning of institutional ethics committees, including composition and a definition of the roles across education, policy development, and case consultation. Within the context of the various roles of the institutional ethics committee, the potential contributions of a child and adolescent psychiatrist are defined and specific areas of expertise are delineated. Case examples are cited to demonstrate the unique contributions in the areas of developmental understanding, enhanced understanding of communication styles and failures, as well as an understanding of specific psychiatric factors and cultural issues that a child and adolescent psychiatrist may bring to the institutional ethics committee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-224
Number of pages16
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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