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Withholding Life Sustaining Treatment, an Ethical Paradox? (1 hour Monograph)

Hours: 1.00

Best suited for: Practicing and resident physicians of all specialties and other healthcare providers who are likely to treat patients at or near the end-of-life. Other providers with interest are welcome to participate.

CMS is allowing reimbursement for healthcare providers who have stand-alone discussions with patients about their health care options near the end of life, including life-sustaining treatment. Lack of reimbursement has likely represented one barrier to these important discussions. Another obstacle has been lack of knowledge on the right way to guide patients as they approach the end of their lives and need to make decisions about the type of care they want or need. There are several ethical issues that arise in this decision making process that can be difficult to resolve. As a result, some physicians as well as their patients simply choose to avoid the topic altogether or give it short shrift. Fortunately, guidelines such as set forth by the Hastings Center which are discussed in this monograph, help address these issues and promote effective and productive dialogue at a time when some argue it is most needed.

Original Release Date: March 29, 2016
Review Date:
Expiration Date: March 29, 2019

  Learning Objectives: Upon completion, participants should be able to
1) Use guidelines as tools to initiate end-of- life discussions with patients and families.
2) In each appropriate circumstance, undertake an end-of-life discussion with the identified key
3) Provide end-of-life treatment according to the expressed preferences of the patient.

Learning Assessment: There will be a post test for this activity with a minimum performance requirement of 8 out of 10 correct answers.

Estimated time to complete activity: 1 hour

Residents will earn a certificate of completion. Physicians will earn CME credit. 

CME Information - Read

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: 1.0


State Requirements: 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
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 Disclosure Policy: LAMMICO requires planners, speakers, faculty and all those who influence the content of a CME activity to disclose any financial relationships they have with commercial interests that are relevant to the CME activity. The disclosures shall be reviewed for any conflict of interest and subject to a mechanism for resolution of conflict of interest. A disclosure statement of relevant financial relationships will be made to the audience prior to the activity.

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

About the Author: Ann Marie Leblanc, JD Read Bio

Expert Reviewer: Karen Duncan, RN, JD - Read Bio

Managing Editor: Dawer Azizi, MHA, CPHRM, LAMMICO Director 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 866/398-1038 or help@medicalinteractive.com

Disclaimer: This activity is presented 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 © 2016

Bibliography: To view and download References & Resources for this presentation, please select the References tab/link 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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