Committees

Bioethics Committee

According to the Principles of Medical Ethics, the medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements developed primarily for the benefit of the patient. As a member of this profession, a physician must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, as well as to society, to other health professionals, and to self.

To that end, the South Carolina Medical Association Bioethics Committee exists to survey the current medical landscape in the state of South Carolina and ensure that they uphold the highest ethical standards. The committee, chaired by Jeffrey Cashman, DO, has been involved in a number of issues, including but not limited to: advance care planning, legalization of medical marijuana, ethical issues in the scope of practice, informed consent, etc.

 

Resources

 

To get involved or to become a member of the SCMA Bioethics Committee, please contact Necole Stinson at nstinson@scmedical.org.

South Carolina Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill (SC CSI)

About CSI

This statewide coalition brings key organizations, clinicians, and healthcare entities together to collaboratively  redesign care, improve quality of life, and protect the ethical rights of the seriously, chronically, or terminally ill in South Carolina. The coalition is committed to improving the shared decision-making for this population by implementing strategies which help patients understand the typical trajectory of their condition and take an active role in their treatment, including decisions about their care.  One such strategy is the development the Physicians Order for Scope of Treatment (POST) form and implementation of the POST pilot project.  This group has taken the lead in implementing POST in South Carolina, beginning with a pilot study aimed at refining the form into one that best suits South Carolinians. The long-range plan is to propose changes, either statutory or regulatory, to institute the use of POST statewide once the pilot is completed.

CSI Mission

The Coalition believes that for patients nearing end-of-life, a meaningful conversation between a healthcare professional and a patient (and/or surrogates) to discuss the current medical conditions, treatment options, and choices within the context of personal values and beliefs is a standard of care. The use of the POST form can facilitate this discussion and guide subsequent patient treatment across healthcare settings.  One strategy of the CSI to encourage these meaningful conversations is the support of education that assists physicians and other healthcare providers in facilitating these discussions.

CSI Members

The Coalition is comprised of the following organizations: the South Carolina Medical Association, the South Carolina Hospital Association, the South Carolina Nurses Association, the South Carolina Healthcare Association, Leading Age South Carolina, South Carolina Citizens Concerned for Life, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the South Carolina Healthcare Ethics Network, the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, the SC Society of Chaplains, LifePoint, AARP, the South Carolina Office on Aging, and volunteers with expertise in specific areas such as law, social work, and legislation.

Advanced Care Planning

Understanding trends and current end-of-life care options for patients is vital for the health care of our patients and advance care planning continues to be a hot topic in medicine. As our state continues to advance in end-of-life care planning, it is important for physicians to understand the resources available to South Carolinians. The following outlines the forms available to patients in South Carolina:

Health Care Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that names a health care agent/proxy/surrogate.  The person named should be someone trusted to make health decisions for you if you are unable to do so. This form also allows one to make health care decisions about treatments intended to sustain life.  A person can accept or refuse medical treatment addressing such issues as CPR, breathing machines, tube feeding, organ donation and comfort care.  Decisions about these treatments are not required for the completion of this form.

South Carolina Living Will or “Declaration of a Desire for a Natural Death” under the SC Death with Dignity Act
A living will tells how a patient feels about treatment intended to sustain life should one be terminally ill or in a state of permanent unconsciousness.  The treatment issues addressed in the living will are tube feeding, hydration and comfort care.  Naming a health care agent/proxy/surrogate is an optional decision on this form.

South Carolina Adult Health Care Consent Act
If you do not have an advance directive, the SC Adult Health Care Consent Act lists the order of priority of persons who may make health care decisions for a patient who is unable to consent.

Isn't It Time We Talked?
The South Carolina Hospital Association joined with the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, the South Carolina Medical Association, and the South Carolina Bar Association to develop two documents on advance care planning to help the public and health care professionals: “Isn’t It Time We Talk” brochure and Frequently Asked Questions about advance directives.

Resources


For more information regarding the SC Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill or to join, please contact Rebecca Brannon at rbrannon@scmedial.org.