End of Life Care: Ethics for Social Workers

End of Life Care: Ethics for Social Workers 

Social workers play a key role in the support and treatment of patients receiving hospice and palliative care services. This course explores the responsibility of the social worker in understanding professional ethical standards and how they relate to end-of-life (EOL) care. Ethical considerations and their impacts are discussed, as well as identification of when your decision-making ability may be compromised. The goal of this course is to provide social workers in hospice and palliative care settings with knowledge of ethics related to EOL care.


Hours: 1.75


Certificates provided by accrediting body (5 Match)

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

1.75 HOURS

Provider #50-290 This activity is approved for 1.75 contact hours.

Ohio Social Worker Board

1.75 HOURS

Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board
Provider #
CEBroker Provider: 50-290
This activity is approved for 1.75 contact hours.

Association of Social Work Boards

1.75 HOURS

Relias, LLC, #1273, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Relias LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 02/10/2018-02/10/2021.

Course Delivery Format: Asynchronous Distance Learning-interaction includes quizzes with questions and answers, post-tests. This module is Reading-Based.

Social workers completing this course receive 1.75 Ethics continuing education clock hours.

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

1.75 HOURS

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 1.75 continuing education hours for participating in this course. This activity is approved for 1.75 contact hours.

South Carolina Board of Social Work Examiners

1.75 HOURS

South Carolina Board of Social Work Examiners (CEBroker Provider 50-290)

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PAC-0-ELCESW
Hours: 1.75
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 6/30/2023
Learning Objectives:
Identify at least three ways in which social work ethics relate to EOL care.
Describe at least three common ethical dilemmas in EOL care.
Identify at least one ethical decision-making process for use in EOL care-related dilemmas.
Apply ethical decision-making skills using case examples of ethical dilemmas in EOL settings.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Social Work Ethics and End-of-Life Care


Sources of Ethical Guidance

Social Work Values & EOL Care

“Not My Son”

Knowledge Check

Patient Self-Determination

Interdisciplinary Teamwork

Patient Education


Advance Directives



Section 3: Social Work Competencies

Necessary Knowledge

Flexibility and Adaptability

The Ethics of Self-Care

Assessment and Intervention

Spirituality and Religion at EOL

Meet Taniah

Cross-Cultural Competence



Section 4: Ethical Decision Making in EOL Care

Challenges to Ethical Decision Making at EOL

Basic Ethical Considerations

Risk Tolerance

Ethical Decision Making within a Care System

Ethical Dilemmas: When There is No Easy Answer

Meet Mr. Phillips


Personal vs. Professional Values

Dying With Dignity

Ethical Decision-Making Models

Ethical Principles Screen


Six-Stage Model of Personal Values and Ethics



Section 5: Conclusion


Course Contributors



Instructor: Stephanie L. Furness, MSW, LCSW

Stephanie received a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University in 2007. The majority of her experience has been providing behavioral health counseling and case management in private practice, acute, community, and medical settings. She served as part of the National Health Service Corps from 2016-2018, providing outpatient counseling to underserved populations including military service members and their families. Stephanie has designed and provided training on topics such as LGBTQIA+ sensitivity, youth suicide prevention, and how to provide in-community services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Disclosure: Stephanie L. Furness, MSW, LCSW has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Susan Heinzerling, RN, CHPN
Susan Heinzerling began her nursing career as a Med/Surg nurse. Renal patients in acute care, with multiple chronic conditions and repeated hospitalizations inspired her practice of hospice nursing where she began as Hospice Admissions Nurse and later became a Hospice RN Case Manager. Susan has practiced hospice nursing in both a large, urban area and in a rural setting. Susan earned a B.S. in Biology and B.S. in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master's degree in Physiology from North Carolina State University. She became a Ph.D. Candidate in Immunology at the University of South Alabama. Her research experiences in the biomedical sciences led to an interest in evidence-based practices. Disclosure: Susan Heinzerling, RN, CHPN 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: Intermediate level Social Workers; in the following settings: Hospice.
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 (https://www.relias.com/help) 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.