Requests for Physician-Assisted Death

Requests for Physician-Assisted Death 

Healthcare professionals are often unprepared to respond to requests for physician-assisted death. This course will help hospice and palliative care professionals understand the reasons patients may initiate such a request, appropriate ways to respond to a request, and ways the team can address the underlying root cause for the request.


Hours: 1.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (11 Match)

Association of Social Work Boards


Relias, LLC, #1273, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Relias, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 2/10/2018-2/10/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.

Course Delivery Format: Asynchronous Distance Learning-interaction includes quizzes with questions and answers, posttests. This module is Pre-recorded Webinar.

Social workers participating in this course will receive 1.00 Clinical continuing education clock hours.

New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, Division of Professional Licensing Services, Social Work Unit


Relias, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0009.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of licensed master social work and licensed clinical social work in New York. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice for an LMSW and LCSW. A licensee who practices beyond the authorized scope of practice could be charged with unprofessional conduct under the Education Law and Regents Rules.

As a provider of online, asynchronous education, some courses offered by Relias Learning are considered “self-study” under section 74.10(c)(2)(ii)(b)(4) of the Commissioner’s Regulations. The regulations limit self-study activities taken from a provider approved by the Education Department to no more than 12 hours in the 36-month registration period or one-third of the hours in a registration period other than 36 months.

Social workers will receive 1.00 continuing education hours for participating in this course. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

California Board of Registered Nursing


Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, CEP# 13791

Nurses will receive 1.00 contact hours for participating in this course.

District of Columbia Board of Nursing


DC-RN -- District of Columbia Board of Nursing Approved Continuing Education program (CE Provider #50-290).

Nurses will receive 1.00 contact hours for participating in this course.

Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling


Provider #50-290 This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

Florida Board of Nursing


Florida Board of Nursing CE Provider #: 50-290

Nurses will receive 1.00 contact hours for participating in this course.

American Nurses Credentialing Center


Relias, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Nurses will receive 1.00 contact hours for participating in this course.

Georgia Board of Nursing


Georgia Board of Nursing CE Provider #: 50-290

Nurses will receive 1.00 contact hours for participating in this course.

South Carolina Board of Nursing


This program was approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing Approved Continuing Education Program (CE provider #50-290) CE Broker Course # 20-[Custom_Code]

West Virginia Board of Registered Nursing


Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education


Relias LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Relias LLC designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PAL-0-RPAD
Hours: 1
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 5/31/2021
Learning Objectives:
Define physician-assisted suicide and clarify related concepts.
Identify root causes of suffering that may prompt requests for a hastened death.
Illustrate ways you can respond to these types of requests.
Explain strategies the care team can use to address the root cause of the request.
Identify ethical and legal ramifications related to physician-assisted death.
Identify strategies to support members of the caregiving team when faced with requests for physician-assisted death.


Requests for Physician-Assisted Death



Legal Status of PAD in the U.S.

Common Requirements in U.S. PAD Laws

Aggregate Data in Stats with Legal PAD (OR, WA, VT, CA, CO)

Knowledge Check

Concerns Expressed by Individuals Inquiring about PAD

Oregon Research

Exploring Requests for PAD

Potential Responses to Requests for PAD

6 Steps in Responding

Step 1: Clarify the Request

Step 2: Assess the Underlying Cause(s) of the Request

Step 3: Affirm your Commitment to Care for the Patient

Step 4: Address the Root Causes of the Request

Step 5: Educate the Patient and Discuss Legal Alternatives

Step 6: Consult with Colleagues

Knowledge Check

Ethical Considerations

AMA Code of Ethics: Opposes PAD

AMA Code of Ethics

Major U.S. Professional Societies’ Stance on PAD

Contextual Factors When Facing Inquiries about PAD

Knowledge Check

Moral Distress

Moral Distress Triggers: If My Patient Asks for PAD…

Moral Distress Triggers: If I Participate…

Moral Distress Triggers: If I Don’t Participate…

Moral Distress: Supporting our Colleagues

Knowledge Check





Instructor: Gregg VandeKieft, MD, MA
Gregg VandeKieft is Medical Director for Palliative Care for Providence St. Joseph Health's Southwest Washington Service Area in Olympia, WA, and Associate Medical Director for the Providence Institute for Human Caring in Torrance, CA. His clinical practice includes inpatient palliative care consulting, outpatient palliative care, and clinical ethics consulting. Dr. VandeKieft attended medical school at the University of Iowa and Family Medicine residency training in Phoenix, AZ.  He completed the University of Washington's Certificate Program in Health Care Ethics, Michigan State University's masters program in Health and Humanities, and Harvard Medical School's Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice. He holds an appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. VandeKieft serves on the National Quality Forum's Geriatrics and Palliative and End-of-Life Care Standing Committee, the Supportive Care Coalition's board of directors, the Patient Quality of Life Coalition's Steering Committee, and the Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest's steering committee. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Disclosure: Gregg VandeKieft, MD, MA has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: advanced level Social Workers; Nurses; Physicians; in the following settings: Hospice, Palliative Care.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.