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The Ethics Curriculum

Chronic Medical Illness (Ethics 6)

Learn about ethical decision making in serious medical situations.

Program Description

In dealing with those who are chroncially and/or terminally ill, one's ethical decisions truly can have life and death consequences. But now, the complicated interactions between providers, patient, family, governmental regulations, practice parameters, and payers for this health care make it ever more difficult for a patient to make a decision. How can non-medical therapists help a patient understand the changing medical research, when we are torn between the desire for eternal life and the cost of achieving that, when we consider the increasing number of people with no access to health care, and when the money supply is limited and medical demand insatiable? And what if the patient cannot speak for himself or herself?

Further, when the patient is an adolescent, the complications increase. Who controls what the adolescent can know about his or her condition? Who makes the decisions?

The four speakers in this program will try to shed some light on these situations.

Learning Objectives

This program provides clinicians with the opportunity to:

Understand and identify whether a patient is decisional.

Learn about patient autonomy for children and adolescents.

Learn who has decision making powers for children and adolescents.

Recognize factors that impact the incidence of medical errors.

Learn about disclosure, release of information, and confidentiality under HIPPA.


Decision Making - Tonya Manselle, Ph.D.

Ms. Manselle discusses decision making in serious medical situations, urging the mental health practitioner to be the patient advocate and lobby for full information. She defines guardianship and the standard for being decisional, explains advanced directives, and discusses the role of ageism as a deterrent to objective decision making.

Decision Making with Seriously ill Adolescents - Peter Wolf

Mr. Wolf discusses the rights of children to know their diagnosis and who legally has the right to tell the child. He explains how a therapist could intervene and help the child make decisions he or she is able to make.

Medical Errors - Margot Escott

Ms. Escott explains why medical error training is important for non-medical health providers and discusses the most common errors that occur.

Understanding HIPPA - Sandra Nye, J.D., M.S.W.

Here, we look at the baffling and worrisome topic of HIPAA. Should we be paranoid about it, or should we view it as good for our patients and, therefore, good for us? Sandra Nye, an attorney and social worker, explains why it's in everyone's best interest to comply with these regulations.

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Client Testimonials

“I'm so pleased with being able to earn CEs at home. As a mother of young children, my time is fragmented.This format is perfect.”

... Sarah S.

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