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Children Deserve Special Consideration

Medical Director: Jonathan Fanaroff, MD, JD
Associate Director: Ann Kessler, LISW-S
Associate Director: Dianna Yip, DO
Clinical Ethicist: Olubukunola Mary Tawose, JD, MA

Our mission at the UH Rainbow Center for Pediatric Ethics (RCPE) is to promote better understanding of our ethical responsibilities to children. The RCPE will impart commitment, credibility, and visibility to the role of pediatric ethics at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Our presence will provide physical and emotional space for persons of differing viewpoints to come together, in a non-threatening environment, to help determine what is in the best interest of the child.

The center will stimulate a wide range of ethics programs and activities in support of programmatic initiatives at the Case School of Medicine and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, thereby becoming an integral and vibrant contributor to the medical community.

The center will accomplish its mission by achieving four primary objectives.

  • Education: To educate students, healthcare professionals and the public about pediatric ethical issues involving children and their families
  • Consultation: To provide consultation assisting clinicians, families, and children confronted with ethical dilemmas that arise in healthcare and pediatric research
  • Research and Academic Inquiry: To foster research and scholarship in pediatric ethics
  • Advocacy and Community Outreach: To advocate for the well-being of children by bringing the ethical dimensions of pediatric healthcare to the community at large.

Ethics Consultations

The UH Rainbow Ethics Committee has been active for more than a decade and is the current mechanism for grappling with many of the ethical challenges encountered at Rainbow.

The committee, co-chaired by Dr. Jonathan Fanaroff and Ann Kessler, LISW-S, operates as part of the Clinical Ethics Program at University Hospitals of Cleveland and serves in an advisory capacity to clinicians, families and children. The committee functions as a multi-disciplinary sounding board for some of the most troubling cases at Rainbow.

The RCPE provides organizational support to the Rainbow Ethics Committee, arranging both the scheduled bi-monthly meetings and necessary emergency case review meetings. In this way, the RCPE provides a much-needed infrastructure for this important hospital function.

Patients, their families, healthcare professionals or other members of the hospital staff may request an ethics consult by calling (216) 286-4215.

Research and Academic Inquiry

Ethics research is currently underway at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. The RCPE faculty meets monthly to review progress in research projects and plan for new research and programmatic efforts. In addition, the RCPE will provide advisory support to University Hospitals and the Department of Pediatrics through membership on the UH and Departmental IRB committees and will be accessible to all faculty, fellows, residents and nurses seeking guidance or consultation with respect to pediatric research issues. The RCPE will also be available to faculty engaging in large, multidisciplinary projects or programs for children.