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FAQs and Additional Resources

St. Jude Resources

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB)

External Resources


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    • When the family or care team would benefit from support for more effective communication about goals and methods of care.
    • When a patient, family or care team would benefit from the opportunity to share or clarify their perspectives and be heard.
    • When you are uncertain about what is the right thing to do, or you feel significant distress about decision-making. Your concern may be about a patient’s medical care, research participation, or how patients are affected by the way things are done.
  1. Any patient, family member or staff member may request help from the ethics consult team. 

    • Email:
    • Contact the ethics consultant on call through the St. Jude operator or through AmiOn (if a St. Jude employee) 
    • The ethics team will value your relationship, familial or professional, with the child.
    • The ethics team will listen to you and seek to understand your distinctive perspective and values.
    • The ethics team will facilitate communication with other stakeholders. (Stakeholders are persons with an established relationship with the child/patient, who share responsibility for the child’s care, and who will be most effected by care decisions.)
    • The ethics consult team can provide opportunity to identify and clear up misunderstandings.
    • The ethics consult team will help you think through complex situations and see options you may not have considered.
    • The team will offer advice and education but will not make medical decisions.
  2. We have found ethics consults are handled best when communication is open, including clear identification of issues and stakeholders. Upon request, the identity of the person requesting ethics consult assistance can remain private.

  3. When you request help from the ethics consult team, the ethics consultant on call will gather some basic information and may schedule a time for discussion. During such a meeting, you will have the opportunity to share your concerns. The ethics consult team recognizes the special role you play in patient care and what you think matters in making decisions. Other persons with direct involvement in the patient’s care will be invited to give input. The ethics consult team’s recommendations will be shared with those who participate in the discussion.

  4. If an ethical issue requires immediate attention, the consult team can be expected to meet within 24 hours. If the issue is less urgent, the consult team may meet within 72 hours to one week.

  5. Bioethics is the study of how we should navigate moral issues related to health, healthcare, life sciences, technology, and other related areas. Questions in bioethics deal with what we should do in general situations when we face competing values goals related to these and other health- and life-science-related issues.

    Clinical ethics is a branch of bioethics. When issues are difficult to understand and emotions are heightened, clinical ethicists help members of the healthcare team, patients, and families come together in constructive ways to identify, analyze and resolve specific ethical problems met in patient care.

    Research ethics is another branch of bioethics. The ethical guidelines that govern research with human subjects are in place both to protect research volunteers and to preserve the integrity of the science.