Health Ethics

As medicine becomes more complex, ethical questions become more frequent. Professional clinical ethicists exist to navigate these questions.

From helping healthcare providers identify the most ethically appropriate plan of care to working with hospital leaders to develop patient-centered policies, our team of experts knows how to identify and achieve ethical outcomes. Compass Health Ethics makes access to expert clinical ethicists possible for hospitals of any size.




Dr. Eric Mathison

Chief Clinical Ethicist

Dr. Eric Mathison is a certified healthcare ethics consultant (HEC-C) and a bioethicist. He has worked in hospital systems in the United States and Canada, helping healthcare providers, patients, and their families navigate complex ethical issues in patient care. Eric has also worked with health systems on organizational ethical challenges, including designing better electronic medical record policies to improve patient-centered care, managing the many ethical issues raised by the Covid-19 pandemic, and helping hospitals implement best practices to align with assisted dying legislation. His clinical ethics experience includes working as a clinical ethicist in Alberta, Canada, where he was also the Covid-19 clinical ethics lead for the province, and consulting at Houston Methodist hospital as a clinical ethics postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine. Eric regularly publishes academic and public articles on a variety of bioethics topics.


Case Studies


What is the appropriate plan of care for this seriously ill patient?

An elderly patient was unconscious in an ICU. According to the treatment team, her prognosis was poor. Most jurisdictions have a legal hierarchy for determining a patient’s appropriate substitute decision-maker...

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Is tubal ligation ethically appropriate for a patient with a public guardian?

A mid-twenties patient has an intellectual disability that limits her understanding of medical decisions. She has tried various forms of birth control and has found them all either unsatisfactory or ineffective. She already has two children...

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How can a therapist in a small community avoid conflicts of interest?

Therapists in small communities often have requests for treatment by community members, but the therapist is already treating one of the prospective patient’s family members. This raises two issues...

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Should a genetic counselor disclose a significant finding to his patient?

An elderly patient lost his sight due to a hereditary condition. When the condition was diagnosed, a genetic counselor became involved. Among other things, he offered to test the patient’s adult son to see if the son was likely to get the same condition...

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How should a treatment team respond to the aggressive requests of a patient’s substitute decision maker?

Healthcare providers sometimes deal with substitute decision makers (SDMs) who make unreasonable or uninformed requests. Sometimes the requests are for tests or scans that are not medically indicated...

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Inside Compass
Ideas from our clinical ethics experts