Traditionally, healthcare organizations had ethics committees that were forums for discussion about difficult clinical situations. However, as healthcare organizations become more complex, so do the clinical and organizational ethical issues encountered, requiring more sophisticated infrastructure and access to expertise. In addition, in the past two decades, Accreditation Canada standards have expanded, compelling healthcare organizations to develop policies and structures to ensure resources and supports are in place to enable the integration of ethics from bedside to boardroom. These standards now require organizations to enable a range of activities, including: education of staff/physicians re: health ethics; ethics consultation services; structures to support development and review of institutional policies; tracking trends in ethical issues; and using data about trends to enhance the quality of care. In order to meet these requirements, ethics committees generally require the support of practicing healthcare ethicists, who have a unique educational background, knowledge and skills to support the development of a full range of ethics related activities within healthcare organizations.