Beth Kohlberg, RN, BSN, MS-HCE, has been named medical ethics coordinator for St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Medical Ethics Committee. In this capacity, Kohlberg is responsible for developing medical ethics education presentations and seminars for units throughout the hospital and for those undergoing orientation training. To date, interdisciplinary discussions have centered on specific cases or on the types of medical ethics dilemmas medical professionals often face in a pediatric tertiary care environment.
“The rapid advance of medical technology has resulted in an increasing number of instances in which ethical dilemmas are involved in health care decision making,” says Peter Michelson, MD, Washington University pediatric pulmonologist and co-director of the Medical Ethics Committee.“ With her extensive background in neonatal intensive care and her advanced degree in health care medical ethics, Beth is well suited to help facilitate our ability to address in a timely manner the ethical concerns that arise, as well as educate staff members about how to handle these sensitive situations.”
Kohlberg has worked as a nurse in the Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 15 years and continues in that capacity on a part-time basis.
“My interest in medical ethics stems directly from the experiences I’ve had in the NICU and the heart-wrenching situations that arise and cause distress for both families and medical professionals,” she says. “As medical ethics coordinator, my goal is to provide staff members with the tools they need to cope with these situations and to help families and caregivers arrive at the best decisions for each patient.”