Mountains in foliage season in Vermont

Vermont Ethics Network

Working to increase awareness of ethical issues, values and choices in health and health care.

Medical Decision-Making

Medical Decision-Making

Taking Steps Vermont

There may come a time when you are unable to speak for yourself. The best way to ensure that your wishes are known and honored is to talk with those closest to you and your health care providers about what matters most.

Start Taking Steps Today

Medical Ethics

Medical Ethics

Relevant Topics in Bioethics

Medical ethics is a field of study that draws from philosophy, law and medicine. There are four core principles in bioethics that define the ethical obligations that health care providers owe to patients. The application of these principles to individual cases can be helpful in resolving difficult questions that arise in health care.

Learn More

Palliative & End-of-Life Care

Palliative & End-of-Life Care

Information for those living with serious illness

Palliative care is specialized care that is directed at managing the symptoms of those who are living with serious or advanced illness. It is appropriate for individuals who are seeking treatment for their disease, as well as for those who have shifted their goals to a more comfort-directed plan of care.

Learn More

Latest News & Upcoming Events

Some Lives Matter: The Dirty Little Secret of the U.S. Health Care System (Hastings Center Report)

Sickle cell disease afflicts about one hundred thousand Americans, the vast majority of whom are Black. It is a horrible disease that reduces life expectancy by about thirty years and can very adversely affect quality of life for the preceding forty years.

Read Article »

Virtual Conversation on Racism & Health Equity (December 3)

Dartmouth-Hitchcock will host a free virtual conversation on why racism and health equity matter in bioethics on Thursday, December 3 from 12pm-1pm. Learn more and register.

Learn More & Register »

Weekly Advance Care Planning Information Meetings via Zoom

Our colleagues at Taking Steps Brattleboro are offering free weekly Advance Care Planning Information Meetings via Zoom every Wednesday at 10am.

Learn More »

Hastings Center President Speaks on Systemic Racism, Health Inequities, and Covid-19

In two recent talks, one at the National Institutes of Health and the other at the Washington-based Cosmos Club, Hastings Center president Mildred Solomon discussed the connection between systemic racism, other social determinants of health, and health inequities.

Read Article »

Black Women Can't Breathe (The Hastings Center)

Years before George Floyd begged to be released from under the knee of Officer Derek Chauvin, Barbara Dawson, a 57-year-old Black woman, died begging a police officer, John Tadlock, not to remove her oxygen mask. Her death occurred right outside the Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida, shortly before Christmas in 2015.

Read Article »

Communication Skills Champion Program (TalkVermont)

This TalkVermont course aims to provide extra training for TalkVermont graduates who can serve as role-models and champions in patient-centered communication skills for serious illness conversations

Learn More »

Fair Compensation for Rare Vaccine Harms (The Hastings Center)

As multiple Covid vaccine candidates enter clinical trials and hopefully move closer to approval, one important unanswered question is how to compensate the rare cases of serious vaccine harm if any arise (whether during a trial, or after distribution).

Read Article »

End-of-Life University Podcast Highlights Innovations for Advance Care Planning

Learn how an innovative company is contracting with insurers to educate patients about health care decision-making on a recent episode of the End-of-Life University Podcast.

Listen »

Covid-19 and Deafness: Why the Protocols Fall Short (The Hastings Center)

Masks have become required attire, and their importance in this pandemic cannot be overstated. However, while they protect against people breathing viral particles into the air, they also make lip-reading impossible. For me, communicating with someone wearing a mask is an exhausting struggle, because their lips, which I rely on very heavily, are not visible.

Read Article »

Lawsuits of Last Resort: Employees Fight for Safe Workplaces during Covid-19 (The Hastings Center)

In such exigent circumstances it is not surprising that novel legal theories also have been asserted to compel employers to protect employees exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Several recently filed cases have caused some lawyers to ponder a branch of law they have not thought about since law school–public nuisance.

Read Article »

The Police Tried to Make Me Medically Examine a Man Against His Will (ZORA)

"Just make him do it!” A voice rang out, followed by the sound of metal grating on metal. I leaned past my computer screen toward the triage area to see a young man in handcuffs chafing at the bony prominences of his reddened wrists. Fading charcoal gray lines of graphic tattoos on his left forearm were almost indecipherable against his dark skin.

Read Article »

VEN Ethics Survey Results

View the results of our Ethics Survey for Vermont & New Hampshire conducted in the summer of 2019.

Learn More »