Legal Ethical Dilemmas

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  1. Introduction brings you to this page.
  2. Copyright will display the legal information about this course and its provider.
  3. CE Credit gives you the instruction on how to complete this course and earn the CE credit.
  4. Learning Objectives are spelled out here for this course.
  5. Contents gives you an overview of the course.
  6. Text is broken into several chapters and you should be able to go back and forth among these chapters.
  7. Post-Test consists of several true/false or multiple-choice questions which you must answer. The passing score is 70%. The test is graded interactively, so you’ll know your score at the end.
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Copyright © 2000 by Homestead Schools, Inc.

Continuing Education
Internet Study Course

All rights reserved. No part of this course may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Homestead Schools, Inc.

23844 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 200

Torrance, CA 90505

Phone (310) 791-9975

Fax (310) 791-0135

Course Outline

AARP Legal Counsel For the Elderly

1909 K Street, NW

Washington, DC 20049

(202) 833-6720

Aging In America

1500 Pelham Parkway South

Bronx, NY 10461

Phone (718) 824-4004

Provides information on everything related to being over 60. Recommendations and referrals to such things as meals on wheels, housekeeping services, personal care and entitlements.


AIDS Hotline

(800) 342-AIDS

Provides basic information about transmission. Referrals to medical services, counseling and support groups.

ALS Association

2101 Ventura Blvd., Suite 321

Woodland Hills, CA 91364

(800) 782-4747

Provides information and educational materials about ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Referrals to physicians, support groups and drug trials.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association

919 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000

Chicago, IL 60611

(800) 272-3900

Provides general information on the disease. Referrals to local chapters for specific services.

American Geriatrics Society

770 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY 10021

(212) 308-1414 Fax: (212) 832-8646

Leader in and advocate for programs in patient care, aging research, professional and

public education and public policy.


American Pain Society

5700 Old Orchard Road

First Floor

Skokie, IL 60077

(708) 966-5595

Association of pain physicians. Referrals to pain facilities, physicians and support groups.

Ass’n for Death Education & Counseling

638 Prospect Avenue

Hartford, CT 06105

(203) 232-4825

Cancer Information Service

(800) 4-CANCER

Answer any question related to cancer and cancer treatment. Referrals to hospice, home care and support groups.

Children of Aging Parents

2761 Trenton Road

Levittown, PA 19056

(215) 945-6900


Choice In Dying, Inc.

The national council for the right to die (formerly Concern for Dying/Society for the Right to Die)

200 Varick Street

New York, NY 10014

(212) 366-5540

The Hastings Center

255 Elm Road

Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

(914) 762-8500


The Hemlock Society USA

P.O. Box 101810

Denver, CO 80250-1810

(800) 247-7421

The Hemlock Society USA is a nonprofit educational and research organization that advocates legalized, voluntary physician aid in dying.

Hospice link

(800) 331-1620

Provides general information on hospice care. Referrals to hospices across the country.

The Living Bank

(800) 528-2971

Provides information on organ donation and a registry of people who wish to donate organs.


National Association of Social Workers

750 1st Street, NE

Suite 700

Washington, DC 20002

(800) 638-8799 ext. 555

Referrals to professional social workers nationwide.

National Hospice Organization

1901 N. Moore Street

Suite 901

Arlington, VA 22209

Hospice Helpline (800) 658-8898

Provides general information about hospice including information on Medicare hospice benefits. Referrals to hospices nationwide.


National Kidney Foundation

30 E. 33rd Street

New York, NY 10016

(800) 622-9010

Provides general information about kidney and urological disease as well as information on how to become an organ donor and free organ donor cards. Referrals to local affiliates for services.

National Self-Help Clearinghouse

(201) 625-7101

Referrals to all kinds of support groups nationwide.

Visiting Nurse Associations of America

3801 East Florida Avenue, Suite 206

Denver, CO 80210

(800) 426-2547


A Gentle Death: Marilynne Seguin, R.N. & Cheryl K. Smith, J.D. Provides advice and emotional support for dying people and their caregivers; U.S. legal issues thoroughly covered by former Hemlock USA staff attorney.

Death and Dignity: Making Choices and Taking Charge: Timothy E. Quill, M.D. This essential guide for taking charge of your illness emphasizes the importance of honest dialogue between you and your physician.

Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying: Derek Humphry.  A detailed manual for dying patients considering the option of rational suicide.

Final Choices: To Live or Die in an Age of Medical Technology: George M. Burnell, M.D. An extraordinary presentation of the issues, options and obstacles concerning the right and ability of a dying person to control his or her future.

The Right to Die: Derek Humphry & Ann Wickett. A thorough study of the many historical complexities of the right-to-die issue.

Life’s Dominion: An Argument about Abortion, Euthanasia, and Individual Freedom: Ronald Dworkin. An internationally renowned lawyer and philosopher’s brilliant exploration of the legal status of human life.

When It’s Right to Die: Dick Westley. An argument for lawful, voluntary euthanasia, made in the context of Christianity, with emphasis on the position of the Roman Catholic Church.

Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide and AIDS: Russel Ogden. Originally published as a master’s thesis, this book gained instant fame for revealing the painful truth of what dying people must resort to without aid-in-dying laws to guide them. A crucial body of research.

Hospice and Hemlock; Retaining Dignity, Integrity & Self-Respect in End-of-life Decisions. A telling collection of articles balancing the Hemlock perspective with the essential services afforded to dying people by hospice.

Euthanasia: Essays and Briefing on the Right to Choose to Die: Derek Humphry. A selection of essays written to guide the lay person through the many issues surrounding death with dignity.

Common Sense Suicide: The Final Right: Doris Portwood. Rational discussion of how, why and when suicide may be an appropriate option, with special emphasis given to legal matters and loved ones.

Dealing Creatively With Death: Ernest Morgan. A sensitive, comprehensive manual on death education and simple burial.

Dying In Prison: Counseling the Terminal Inmate: Donalyn Gross.  A useful, concerned manual for dealing with the death of the terminally ill person inmate.

Jean’s Way: Derek Humphry. The moving, personal story of Jean Humphry’s choice to hasten her own death with the help of her husband, Derek, who later founded the Hemlock Society.

Last Wish: Betty Rollin.  The controversial and courageous story of a mother’s dark victory and daughter’s love, written firsthand by well-known journalist Betty Rollin.

Let Me Die Before I Wake: Derek Humphry.  Best read as a companion volume to Final Exit, this detailed account was the first published guide to self-deliverance for dying people.

Death with Dignity: Robert L. Risley.  In this book, Mr. Risley explains the background to the new law, why it is necessary, and tackles the critics who claim that it is slippery slope back to conduct similar to Nazi Germany.

Is This the Day: Derek Humphry & Ann Wickett.  This book is a powerful, uncompromising love story which, at its centre, confronts the provocative and emotive issue of euthanasia.

Compassionate Crimes, Broken Taboos: Derek Humphry.  Collections of newspaper & magazine clippings about mercy killing, assisted suicide, double suicide and euthanasia.

Playing God: Gerald Larue.  50 religions’ views on your right to die

Final Acts of Love: Stephen Jamison. This book has step-by-step criteria by which patients and care givers can evaluate their personal situations and consider medical, emotional, spiritual, and communication aspects, quality of life, the potential effects on others, as well as personal values and relationship.

Beyond Final Exit: Cheryl Smith, Chris Docker, John Hofsess, and Bruces Dunn. This book is dedicated to extending and refining knowledge of the proctocolitis of self-deliverance.

Rational Suicide?: James L. Werth, Jr.  The point of view taken in this book is that it is possible to make a rational decision to suicide.

The Hemlock Society U.S.A. also has other materials available for purchase, which are listed below:  The California Death with Dignity Act, California Civil Code, Title 10.5 $1.00

Proposition 161, the California Death with Dignity Act, Questions & Answers $1.00.  “What About Legalized Assisted Suicide?”, by Cheryl Smith, J.D. (Reprint from Issues in Law & Medicine) $1.50

Euthanasia Statistics: Cases of Euthanasia Mercy Killings, Mercy Killings/Suicides, Double Suicides, Assisted Suicides, Suicides $10.00 includes postage.

Self-Study Examination

Instructions: After studying the text answer the following true/false or multiple choice questions. Remember, there’s only one answer to each question.

  • Category: Legal Ethical Dilemmas
  • Evaluation of the learning experiences provided by the Internet study course completed: (Check one letter: A = Excellent, B = Good, C = Fair, D = Unsatisfactory)
  • 6. Your assessment of course content:
  • hours
  • Are there other subjects areas that would interest you.

Table of Contents

Learning Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

Chapter 1: Advance Directives and End-of-Life Decisions

  1. Explain two kinds of advanced directives: Living Wills, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
  2. Explain patient self determination act and describe the responsibilities of a health care provider under it.
  3. Explain why anyone would need an advanced directive.
  4. Describe two benefits of appointing a health care agent.
  5. Describe two things one should do to ensure that his or her advanced directives will be honored.
  6. Distinguish between a will, a living trust, and a living will.
  7. Distinguish between a power of attorney and a durable power of attorney and a durable power of attorney for health care.

Chapter 2: Durable Power of Attorney or Living Will?

  1. Durable power of attorney or living Will?
  2. Explain the uses and respective advantages and disadvantages of a Durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will.
  3. List 6 duties of the Attorney-in-Fact.
  4. Explain “spring” Durable Power of Attorney.

Chapter 3: Common Misconceptions

  1. Discuss with a patient at least 6 common misconceptions concerning advanced directives.

Chapter 4: Medical Treatments and your Advanced Directives

  1.  Explain the following medical treatments:
bullet Life support
bullet Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
bullet Mechanical ventilation
bullet Artificial nutrition and hydration
bullet Kidney Dialysis
bullet Other medical treatments, such as surgical procedures, diagnostic studies, antibiotics, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  1. Formulate a values questionnaire to assist individuals upon end of life treatment decisions.

Chapter 5: Artificial Nutrition and Hydration

  1. Define artificial nutrition and hydration.
  2. Distinguish artificial nutrition and hydration from ordinary eating and drinking.
  3. Explain the consequences of the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration.
  4. List 7 considerations which will help an individual in making decisions about the use of artificial nutrition and hydration.

Chapter 6: CPR, DNR and End-of-life Decisions

  1. Explain what a DNR is, and discuss its application with a patient.
  2. Distinguish between a hospital and non-hospital DNR orders.
  3. Discuss 7 guidelines for the appropriate use of DNR orders.

Chapter 7: Dying at Home

  1. List 3 advantages of dying at home.
  2. Define hospice.
  3. Discuss legal considerations concerning dying at home decisions.

Chapter 8: Ethics Committees and End-of-Life Decisions

  1. Discuss the role of ethics committees and patients right to make end-of-life decisions.

Chapter 9: Third Parties – Can They Take Away Your Rights?

  1.  Discuss the legal standing of third parties intervening with a persons end of life decision.

Chapter 10: Enforcing the Right to Refuse Treatment

  1. Discuss the two case studies laid out in this chapter and a patients family or friends outline various steps a patients family or friends should take to enforce his or her right to refuse treatment.

Chapter 11: Oregon’s assisted Suicide Law

  1. Discuss various provisions and implications of Oregon’s Assisted Suicide Law.

Chapter 12: Organ Donation

  1. Discuss the need for Organ Donation and provisions of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA).


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