The University Dental Clinic (CUO) is a healthcare, teaching and research centre that UIC Barcelona places at the disposal of Faculty of Dentistry students to help them in terms of practical training.
As a healthcare centre that specialises in dentistry, it has an Ethics Committee (CEA) with an advisory and interdisciplinary mission. The Committee analyses possible ethical conflicts that may occur as part of clinical practice, and advises how to deal with them with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of care.
In February 2010, the CEA received accreditation from the Department of Health of the Catalan Government, after having been in existence for almost a year. With this step, it joined the other CEA, the majority of which are located in the large hospitals.
The main responsibilities of the CEA are the following:
- Protecting patients’ rights from an ethical viewpoint (confidentiality, informed consent).
- Analysing, providing guidance for and facilitating the 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 provide guidance to new initiatives in the field of bioethics.
- Examining and analysing the resolution of the ethical conflict situations that arise while providing healthcare with the aim 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 conflict.
- 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 depends on the CUO, is fully autonomous in its activities.