A focus on ethics has characterized Mercy Health's approach to clinical and business issues since our health system was founded. Mercy Health has been at the forefront nationally in addressing such issues as palliative care and corporate responsibility. Our approach to ethics is grounded in the Judeo-Christian spirit, traditions, the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and Catholic social teaching.

Maximizing the Good
Our ethical approach is embedded in how we care for patients, as well as in how we conduct our business relationships, treat our employees and respond to multiple stakeholders. While avoiding wrongdoing is a crucial consideration in such clinical and business decision-making, the principal focus of Mercy Health’s ethical discernment is to maximize the good that we are able to achieve on behalf of the people and communities we serve.

Resources to Support Ethical Decision-Making
Mercy Health’s corporate director of ethics works to continuously enhance the understanding of clinicians and managers concerning the ethical framework that ought to influence all facets of work within the organization and of how such an understanding can maximize the good achieved by the organization. Mercy Health has an ethics committee that serves as an important resource for clinicians, staff members and administrators, as well as for family members facing difficult decisions about their loved ones’ care. Moreover, our extensive and innovative Corporate Responsibility Program provides policies, processes, oversight and training to ensure our compliance with healthcare laws, regulations and rules.

Commitment to Mission-Based Decision-Making
The emphasis we place on ethics is further reflected in our commitment to another important type of decision-making -- mission-based decision-making. The purpose of mission-based decision-making is to ensure that all strategic, operational and clinical decisions are conducive to the fulfillment of the fundamental purpose of our organization -- our mission. That mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health of our communities with emphasis on people who are poor and under-served.

To instill the practice of mission-based decision-making in all of our leaders, we have established an educational program consisting of 13 video segments. The program underscores for leaders how important their decisions are to assure the future of our organization and the Catholic health ministry.