Ethical Considerations in End of Life Care (2 credit hours)

Program Summary:  This course examines ethical considerations in end of life care and includes historical perspectives on death and dying, US cultural attitudes, an overview of grief models, professional obligations, and ethical principles.  The course explores key positions offered by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the NASW.

This course is recommended for social workers and is appropriate for beginning and intermediate levels of practice.  This course is not recommended for NBCC credit.

Course Reading:  Ethical Considerations in End of Life Care

Author:  Lynda Lampert

Find the reading at:

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to ethical considerations in end of life care.

Learning Objectives:  Compare US cultural attitudes on death and dying.  Explain the concept of unconditional positive regard.  Identify professional and ethical obligations in end of life care for physicians, nurses, and social workers.  Describe the NASW’s stance on the morality of end of life decisions.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: A white male born in the US in 1850 could expect to live to be ____________ years of age.
2: The medieval person dealt with death by
3: Elaborate funeral services, expensive coffins, and long periods of mourning best describe which period?
4: Death would become a sentinel event in the lives of all the persons that it touched during which period?
5: Vaccines were first used in
6: The first open heart surgery was performed in
7: CPR was developed in
8: What percent of Americans feel that physicians should do everything they can to save a patient's life?
9: Which of the following groups is more likely to want all measures taken to prolong their lives, regardless of pain or prognosis?
10: Those in _________ economic classes tend to have more plans for their own death.
11: Which of the following groups is more likely to have healthcare directives?
12: Which group is more likely to feel that everything should be done to save a patient?
13: Which faith focuses on allowing Allah to determine the time of death and discourages the patient from asking for death?
14: Which faith focuses on performing good deeds to increase karmic standing?
15: During end of life, Asian cultures tend to turn to _________ .
16: The first empirically tested grief theories were put forth by
17: Which of the following factors was added by Colin Murray Parkes to John Bowlby's theory?
18: Which grief model describes a relationship with the deceased that endures?
19: Which grief model describes a loss orientation phase and a a restoration orientation phase?
20: Which model states that grief changes a person's ideas about themselves and about the world that they live in?
21: The first priority for the medical professional in end of life care is
22: When working with families, it is often helpful to share stories about your own experience with grief and how you overcame similar losses.
23: Which of the following best describes the notion of unconditional positive regard?
24: Which of the following statements surrounding end of life could be more indicative of depression?
25: A healthcare worker can be heard saying "I can't believe that patient is still a full code."  In this situation, it is important to
26: Which ethical principle allows patients the right to make care decisions about themselves.
27: Which of the following best describes the principle of non-malfeasance?
28: Which of the following best describes physician assisted suicide?
29: According to the Pew Research Center, more Americans believe that a person has the right to end their own life if
30: Six steps have been identified for responding to requests for physician assisted suicide.  What is the sixth step?
31: Which of the following takes precedent?
32: What is the AMA's position on physician assisted suicide?
33: What is the ANA's position on physician asssisted suicide?
34: Which group offers a position on the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration?
35: The NASW takes a position concerning the morality of
36: According to the NASW, social workers can draw on the principle of ________________ in matters where clients or their proxies are faced with ethical dilemmas in palliative and end of life care.

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2018 - 9/6/2021. Social workers completing this course receive 2 continuing education credits.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City.  She currently practices in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.