Ethics and COI

HomeAboutATS GovernanceEthics and COI ▶ Clinical Ethics
Clinical Ethics

ATS members and others involved in the clinical practice of pulmonary medicine, critical care, and sleep medicine face complex ethical questions regularly. These challenges have led to an increasing amount of activities within the ATS that concern relevant issues and are intended to advise and assist clinicians, patients and families as they address them. For example, in recent years official ATS statements have been published on shared decision making, managing conscientious objections, responding to requests for potentially inappropriate therapies, ethical considerations in organ donation, and palliative care. Ethical issues have been discussed in manuscripts published in ATS journals and in sessions at the annual ATS International Conference, and a series of periodic podcasts on clinical ethics issues will begin in June 2017.

ATS Publications (official ATS statements and other relevant manuscripts published in ATS Journals; in chronological order):

ATS Podcast

ATS International Conference Sessions (available in the ATS Store):

See “Best of the ATS International Conference” at http://store.thoracic.org/

Non-ATS Publications:

  • Billings JA, Block SD. The end-of-life family meeting in intensive care part III: A guide for structured discussions. J Palliat Med 2011; 14:1058-64. PMID: 21910613 (2011)
  • Truog RD, Campbell ML, Curtis JR, et al. Recommendations for end-of-life care in the intensive care unit: a consensus statement by the American College of Critical Care Medicine. Crit Care Med 2008; 36:953-63. PMID: 18431285 (2008)
  • Lautrette A, Darmon M, Megarbane B, et al. A communication strategy and brochure for relatives of patients dying in the ICU. N Engl J Med 2007; 356:469-78. This French study of family members of 126 patients that died in an ICU found the use of a brochure on bereavement combined with a proactive communication strategy lowered symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. PMID: 17267907 (2007)
  • Tonelli MR. Pulling the plug on living wills. Chest 1996;110:816-22. Discusses the difficulties and limitations of formulating and applying advanced directives. PMID: 8797430. (1996)

Non-ATS Online Resources:

Question or suggestions for the ATS Ethics and COI Committee

Contact Shane McDermott at ATS at smcdermott@thoracic.org or 212-315-8650.

Last Reviewed: May 2017