2018 Social Worker & Chaplain Skills Series 2 of 3: Ethical Challenges in Palliative Sedation & End-of-Life Decisions

July 26, 2018 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am

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Sometimes the source of someone’s suffering is that they continue to live – also called “existential suffering.” Can you recognize existential suffering? Has your team determined how to address this dynamic? Sedation (whether palliative, controlled, total, or respite) is a process that is often uncomfortable for team members to contemplate. The conflicting mandates of controlling suffering and “do no harm” may be difficult to reconcile. This webinar will delve into the challenges and dynamics existential suffering brings, including patient/family requests that present personal, professional, and ethical struggles.


  • List and define relevant terminology
  • Explore dynamics related to existential suffering
  • National standards/debates related to palliative sedation as an intervention addressing existential suffering
  • Social worker and chaplain roles in addressing suffering and ethical challenges
  • Apply knowledge base interventions to situation examples
  • Self-assessment exercise
  • Checklist for evaluating ethical challenges
  • Guide for social worker and chaplain roles addressing ethical challenges
  • Sample policy
  • Handout with additional lecture notes
  • Extensive resource list