Baycrest’s Unit-based Ethics Rounds: A Prototype for Long-term Care Facilities


Michael Gordon, MD, FRCPC
Vice President Medical Services
and Head Geriatric and Internal Medicine,
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care,
Head, Division of Geriatrics,
Mt. Sinai Hospital,
Professor of Medicine,
University of Toronto,
Toronto, ON

Leigh Turner, Ph.D|
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care

Ethics Education in the Geriatric and Long-Term Care Setting
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care now has an innovative program in ethics education. Developing a well-rounded educational program in bioethics, intended to benefit all levels of staff within the geriatric and long-term health care setting, was a considerable challenge. With few models to emulate, this program was undertaken to provide the staff with the knowledge and means to respond to important ethical challenges in an appropriate manner. The system of unit-based ethics rounds, which has been implemented over the last several years, has been very successful and may serve as a prototype for other long-term care and geriatric facilities.

The Unit-based Model
The standard hospital model for providing assistance in resolving ethical issues includes an ethics committee that offers a consultation service. This structure, which exists at Baycrest, has been in existence for about a decade in the long-term care system, following its introduction to the acute care system years before.