End-of-Life Care: Patient’s Right and Physician’s Role
With advances in modern medicine many lives have been lengthened (and deaths have therefore been postponed) for people with medical conditions that severely diminish their quality of life. Some patients desire to not receive treatment and ask that they be allowed to die without medical intervention. While patients do have the legal right to refuse medical treatment, physician-assisted suicide is forbidden in most states, including Massachusetts. As such, physicians must navigate through difficult decisions with their patients in terms of the choice of treatment. This course will help guide you through the laws related to the right to refuse treatment, ethical considerations, and the historical progress of end of life care.
This content is based on a quarterly newsletter issued by the Massachusetts Medical Society and Adler, Cohen, Harvey, Wakeman & Guekguezian, LLP, as an information source for Legal Advisory Plan members. Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or legal opinions regarding specific situations. Consult legal counsel for application of laws and regulations in any individual case before taking any action or making any decisions.
Health care leaders, physicians, residents, other health care professionals and students in all health care professions.
- Assess why the right to refuse treatment in an end of life care situation is protected by law.
- Discuss the ethical considerations of allowing physicians to withdraw or withhold treatment.
- Compare the process for refusing treatment of competent patients with the process of refusing treatment of incompetent patients.
- Explain the historical progress of end of life care and how modern medicine has worked to create better systems.
Megan Grew Pimentel, Esq.
Megan Grew Pimentel is a partner at Adler, Cohen, Harvey, Wakeman and Guekguezian, LLP. Megan is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She focuses her practice on the representation of healthcare professionals and institutions in medical malpractice actions and before the various Boards of Registration that govern these professionals. Her practice also includes the defense of individuals and businesses in civil actions involving general liability, product liability and other personal injury matters.
Daniel Wu, Esq.
Daniel Wu is an attorney at Adler, Cohen, Harvey, Wakeman, and Guekguezian, LLP. His practice is devoted to the defense of physicians, hospitals, and other medical professionals in medical malpractice actions and professional liability matters. In addition, his practice also includes general civil litigation matters.
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
AMA Credit Designation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this internet enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.
MOC Approval Statement
Through the American Board of Medical Specialties (“ABMS”) ongoing commitment to increase access to practice relevant Continuing Certification Activities through the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory, this activity has met the requirements as a MOC Part II CME Activity(apply toward general CME requirement) for the following ABMS Member Boards:
Allergy and Immunology
Colon and Rectal Surgery
Medical Genetics and Genomics
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Psychiatry and Neurology
National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA)
Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.00 Category 1 credit for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.
Exam/Assessment: A score of 70% or higher is required to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
- 1.00 MOC II
- 1.00 ABMS MOC II
- 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
This course is offered through Massachusetts Medical Society.
To take this course you will be redirected to Massachusetts Medical Society's website. You must login or create an account with Massachusetts Medical Society in order to complete this activity.
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