Ethics committees: what are they good for?

The lede:

Orlando, Fla. — Nearly all hospitals have ethics committees to help resolve dilemmas facing physicians, patients and families, especially regarding end-of-life care. Yet surveys have found the typical ethics consultation service handles only three cases a year.

When should ethics services be consulted? Who should sit on ethics committees? Should they tell doctors and patients what to do, or just offer advice?

The whole shebang.