The course is accredited with 6 Ethics CPD points from CMSA
What is the course about?
All children are vulnerable and those with a serious illness or disability even more so. Moreover, decisions are made for children by others (by proxy), who are usually their parents or other caregivers. There are many difficult decisions that have to be made when providing care to children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses. These include life and death decisions, such as whether or not to withhold or withdraw certain treatments.
Sometimes doctors adopt a paternalistic approach and tell the parents what to do and sometimes parents, who are influenced by their emotions and their fear of losing the child, will tell the doctors what to do. There is a significant risk that decisions may not necessarily be made in the best interests of the child and that the child may not have a say in this. It is therefore important that an ethical framework be applied to provision and decision making in children’s palliative care.
By the end of this course you should be able to:
- Define morals and ethics.
- Understand children’s rights.
- Describe the importance of medical ethics in children’s palliative care.
- Know what the relevant South African laws are regarding children and decision making in healthcare.
- Recognise an ethical dilemma.
- Understand why it is important to manage an ethical dilemma well.
- Know who should be involved in decision making for children in palliative care.
- Use an ethical framework to address an ethical dilemma.
- Appreciate the benefit of disclosure and avoiding collusion regarding a diagnosis.
- Know when it is ethical to withhold or withdraw treatment.
- Understand the doctrine of double effect and that euthanasia is not part of palliative care.
Why take the course?
“The PatchSA course on Ethics and Palliative Care is excellent. It takes the learner through all the important aspects of ethics, children’s rights, and the law regarding children, particularly in the context of palliative care. Apart from the core module contents, many links and additional resources provide interesting information and reading. Discussion of ethical dilemmas and actual cases provides additional interest and learning opportunities. Each section revises the core knowledge through quizzes and questions. The ethics novice and the experienced person will both gain from this module. I highly recommend it.”
Prof Sharon Kling MBChB DCH(SA), FCPaed, MMed, MPhil (Applied Ethics)
Consultant Paediatrician: Tygerberg Hospital
Part-time Lecturer: Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, University of Stellenbosch