The Prevalence and Design of Ethics Committees in Nursing Homes

Barbara A. Brown, Steven H. Miles, Mila A. Aroskar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A dramatic increase in the number of ethics committees in long‐term care facilities (LTCFs) has occurred since 1970 in the 487 nursing homes in Minnesota. Ten percent of the LTCFs had ethics committees which were mostly formed by administrators and nurses. The committees are most often found in large urban facilities with a high percentage of skilled‐level beds and a religious name. The committees are multidisciplinary with a median of nine members including two to three nurses, a physician, a social worker, a minister, an administrator, and three other members. Nearly all committees were involved in policy development and staff education. Additional functions included resident care consultation and retrospective case review. More than half of the committees are accountable to administration. Nearly all committees kept minutes. Though all committees incurred costs, only one had a formal budget. Informal evaluation is done in only six committees. No committee had referred cases to the courts. 1987 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028-1033
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1987

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