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Medical Ethics Resource Network of Michigan.

An electronic bulletin board has been established by the Medical Ethics Resource Network (MERN) of Michigan and the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences as an information and consultation resource for Michigan health professionals and hospital ethics committees. It is programmed on an IBM mainframe computer at Michigan State University.

The bulletin board is divided into two sections. One enables users to exchange information on recent articles, court rulings, and other significant developments in medical ethics. The other can be used to gather comments and suggestions concerning such matters as drafting hospital policies and dealing with difficult issues in cases. Additional features being planned include a searchable database listing Michigan speakers with expertise in medical ethics, and computer-assisted instruction or other tools to help teach aspects of ethics problem solving to distant residents.

The bulletin board can be accessed from virtually anywhere in die United States or Canada by anyone with a computer (IBM or MAC) and a modem. Out-of-state user-s are welcome, since they add to the stock of information and experience that the bulletin board can make available to others. With computers as midwives, a patient education pamphlet on brain death conceived in Michigan was recently delivered in a Pennsylvania hospital.

Individual membership in MERN, including the necessary computer ID and passwords and a newsletter, is $50 a year. A limited number of free trial memberships are available. For more information, contact Tom Tomlinson, MERN, c/o Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, C-201 E. Fee, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824. (Phone: [517] 355-7550).
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Publication:The Hastings Center Report
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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