The University Dental Clinic (CUO) is a healthcare, teaching and research centre that the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya places at the disposal of Faculty of Dentistry students to help them with their practical training.
As a healthcare centre that specialises in dentistry, we believed it would be useful to create an Ethical Care Committee (CEA). The mission of this Committee is to act as an interdisciplinary consultancy to provide analysis and advice in relation to potential ethical conflicts that can arise during clinical practice. The main objective of this committee is to improve healthcare quality.
In February 2010 it received accreditation from the Department of Health in the Catalan Government, after being in existence for almost a year, and joined the other CEAs, the majority of which are located in large hospitals.
The main duties of the CEA include:
- Protecting patients’ rights from an ethical perspective (confidentiality, informed consents).
- Analysing, providing guidance for and facilitating clinical decision-making process in situations involving ethical conflicts between healthcare professionals and patients.
- Working on bioethical training with professionals, particularly Committee members.
- Promoting research and providing guidance for new initiatives in the field of bioethics.
- Examining and analysing the resolution of the ethical conflicts that arise when providing healthcare with the aim of ensuring that people's dignity is protected, as well as the quality of the healthcare (medical protocols, analysis and evaluation of incidents).
- Preparing action protocols for the occasional situation involving ethical conflicts.
- Analysing and writing up reports and recommendations for specific cases.
- Proposing new types of action for clinical practice that can be improved through greater participation from patients.
This Committee, which is affiliated with the CUO, is fully autonomous in terms of all its activities.