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End of Life Communications: 2 Models

Hours: 1.00

Target Audience: Physicians of all specialties who may be caring for a patient at end of life. Other interested healthcare practitioners are also welcome to participate.

Original Release Date: April 8, 2013
Review Date: March 16, 2016
Expiration Date: March 16, 2019

Description: End of life conversations are difficult for the physician and are often avoided or postponed. For the dying patient, this avoidance contributes to a dynamic where the family develops unrealistic expectations and the hospital defaults to aggressive or futile care. This scenario ends with the patient’s death in the ICU and persistent anguish for the family after their loved one’s death. Many malpractice claims have resulted from this confluence of events.

This video Internet activity features the contributions of a medical malpractice defense attorney and 3 practicing physicians: a psychiatrist, an internist in Palliative Care and a critical care pulmonologist. They present a model for physicians to carry out End of Life communications in the hospital setting—first, for the physician in private practice and second, hospital-employed physicians who describe how the Palliative Care service can be integrated in with the Intensive Care Unit. Specific techniques are presented that are shown to avoid creating unrealistic expectations, promote symptom control, allow the patient to die at peace, and spare the families the anguish of seeing their loved one suffer.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion, participants should be able to
a. Plan, initiate and carry out a discussion with patient/family on goals for end-of-life care.
b. Explain the relationship between curative, palliative and hospice care to patient/family.
c. Describe a model to integrate palliative care into the intensive care setting.
d. Describe several specific techniques to prevent or mitigate unrealistic expectations on the part of family members.

Learning Assessment: There will be a post test for this activity with a minimum performance requirement of 4 out of 5 correct answers.

Estimated time to complete activity: 1 hour

Method and Medium: To obtain CME credit, view the entire online presentation, complete the evaluation and post test and print your certificate online.

CME Credit: 1


MOC Approved: Through the American Board of Medical Specialties ("ABMS") and Association of American Colleges' ("AAMC") joint initiative to create a wide array of Maintenance of Certification ("MOC") Activities, ' . $this->title . ' has met the MOC requirements as a Part II activity by the following ABMS Member Boards:

  • American Board of Family Medicine
  • American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation



Based on information from state licensing authorities published by the AMA, this program meets specific CME requirements for the following states:
Connecticut - This activity includes content in Risk Management
Iowa - This activity includes required content for End of Life
Massachusetts - This activity includes content in Risk Management
Pennsylvania - This activity includes content in Risk Management / Patient Safety
Texas - This activity includes content in Ethics and/or Professional Responsibility

CME Information - Read

Disclosure Policy - Read

Disclosure:  The speakers, editors and planning committee members for this activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

About the Speakers: Katy Caraway, JD, Elmore F. Rigamer, MD, MPA, Christopher M. Blais, MD, MPH, & David E. Taylor, MD - Read Bios

Managing Editor: Dawer Azizi, MHA, CPHRM, LAMMICO Manager of Risk Management

Editor: Sharon Cusanza, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, LAMMICO Senior Risk Management Education Specialist

Content Advisors/Planning Committee Members - Read

Electronic Hardware and Software Requirements - Read

Web Master Contact Information: For assistance, contact Shea Ivey at 855/464-7475 or help@medicalinteractive.com

Disclaimer: This activity is presented by LAMMICO as risk management education. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish medical standards of care.  Standards of care vary depending on the unique presentation of each patient. The information contained herein is not a substitute for the reasonable discretion of skilled and informed clinicians at the point of care.

Copyright Information: Copyright © 2011

Bibliography: To view and download a Bibliography for this presentation, please select the References button below.

Member and Subscriber Access
Interested in a CME program like this for your team or facility? Contact us to schedule it and talk about pricing.

This course is offered through Experix, a wholly owned subsidiary of Physicians Insurance, and is based on more than 30 years' experience in providing continuing medical education. This course is complimentary for Physicians Insurance members.

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