Exploring Ethics: Ethical Issues in the Emergency Medicine/Law Enforcement Relationship

Health care professionals (including emergency physicians) may have frequent interactions with police officers who are investigating alleged crimes. These officers may make requests or demands of health care professionals regarding patients. How should health care professionals respond to these demands? When should health care professionals comply and when should they refuse demands from law enforcement? What should be done when these demands conflict with what we health care professionals understand to be our professional obligations to our patients? What ethical and legal challenges arise and how should they be analyzed and, if possible, resolved?

Who Should Participate

Physicians, PAs, NPs, nurses, hospital chaplains/clergy, social workers, counselors, allied health professionals and all others interested in emerging ethical issues in health care.


Arthur R. Derse, MD, JD
Director and Professor
Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities
Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Derse’s professional experience in bioethics is extensive. He serves as an ethics consultant, Chair of the Ethics Committee and Supervisor of Ethics Consultation at Froedert Hospital, and an Ethics Committee member and Ethics Consultation Team member at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. His educational activities include direction of the medical school’s medical ethics, law and medical humanities curricular thread and several graduate school courses encompassing law, ethics education and ethics consultation. His publication and research have focused on emergency medicine and ethics, confidentiality, informed consent, end-of-life decision-making, and the doctor-patient relationship.


There is no fee for this activity, however, seating is limited and preregistration is highly encouraged. You are welcome to bring your own lunch.


10th Floor of the Comprehensive Cancer Center
Conference Rooms 1A and 1B
Wake Forest Baptist Health
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27157