Ethical Issues in End-of-Life Care

Live Interactive Webinar  
Instructor: Terry Altilio, LCSW, APHSW-C and Barbara A. Reich, JD  
Level: Intermediate  
CEs: 3 CEs are available
Target Audience: Social workers and other social service providers working in palliative care.
Course Delivery Method, Format and Instructor Interaction: Live interactive webinar with discussion. Instructor will use lecture, large group discussion and clinical case discussion. Attendees are visible to one another in Zoom meeting and are encouraged to be active participants with their camera and/or microphone in order take part in discussion. Login information will be emailed to all program participants a week before the fall and spring sessions.
System Requirements: Attendees will need access to a computer with working camera and microphone. All courses are offered using Zoom conferencing software.

This course engages a discussion of the integration of ethical principles in medical care and decision-making in the context of psychosocial, spiritual and cultural aspects of the lives of patients and families. Integrating relevant material from law and policy, the course will explore assumptions that underlie palliative care principles and values as they interface with cultural and ethnic values of patients and families.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the complex interface of cultural, medical, emotional, spiritual and religious values and the family and team dynamics that inform ethical analysis of EOL dilemmas
  2. Evaluate interventions designed to raise questions and enhance dialogue in cases where ethical dilemmas arise that appear to put two or more ethical values into conflict


2:15 - 3:50 p.m. ET: 

  • Review of required readings will isolate ethical principles and controversies including:
    • Balancing patient autonomy with clinician agency and integrity
    • Explore principles and precepts such as autonomy, self-determination and advance directives within the framework of culture and ethnicity
    • Controversies related to futility and a model for resolving decision making dilemmas

3:50 - 4:00 p.m. ET: Break

4:00 - 5:30 p.m. ET:

  • Case discussions to highlight patient and family decision-making, cultural variation and impacts of decision making on future adaptation of patient and family
  • Discussion of position papers on palliative sedation and physician aid-in-dying to place social work’s commitment to autonomy and self-determination within the larger landscape of public policy and the codes of ethics of other professions
Terry Altilio smiles at the camera wearing a black top.

Terry Altilio, LCSW

Professional Education Instructor
Terry Altilio is a palliative social work consultant with over three decades of direct practice experience in palliative care, most recently in the Division of…
Barbara Reich faces the camera wearing a maroon top and glasses.

Barbara A. Reich, J.D.

Professional Education Instructor
Barbara Reich is a professor of law at Western New England University School of Law. She joined the law faculty in 2005 and teaches torts and a variety of…
Completion Requirements for Live Interactive Webinars

Live, interactive webinars are synchronous, virtual courses held in a Zoom meeting. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the webinar. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the training. Participant attendance is tracked through Zoom. To earn CE credit, participants must also complete an evaluation. A link to the online evaluation will be emailed to participants within 24 hours of the conclusion of the course. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements. Receiving CEs is contingent on attendance and completion of the evaluation.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?
Upon completing the webinar evaluation, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of webinar completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records.