Our clinical ethics committee considers the ethical aspects of clinical care within the Trust. It is made up of volunteers from many specialties and disciplines, and of varying experience, including lay representatives.


The clinical ethics committee discusses general ethical issues and those concerning individual patients, as well as reviewing proposals to alter or create policies. Examples of ethical issues include:

  • the withdrawing and withholding of treatment from patients who are terminally ill
  • the management of patients who have written advanced directives (living will)
  • the management of patients who are unable to give or withhold consent.

The committee also has an important and growing role in education throughout the Trust, within Imperial College London, and beyond.

The committee rarely states the 'right thing' to do, but offers a confidential opportunity for discussion and a structured approach to decision-making.

The chair of the clinical ethics committee is consultant transplant surgeon Vassilios Papalois. The committee primarily responds to requests for support from staff. If you have questions or concerns about any aspects of clinical ethics at the Trust, you should first try to talk to the clinical team caring for you or your family member. Alternatively, you can contact the clinical ethics committee secretary Pilar Penagaricano Beristain on Pilar.PenagaricanoBeristain@imperial.nhs.uk.