Massachusetts Medical Society: Starting the Conversation about End-of-Life Care with Patients

Starting the Conversation about End-of-Life Care with Patients

Starting the Conversation about EOL Care with Patients

According to a recent poll, eighty percent of people say that if seriously ill, they would talk to their doctor about wishes for end-of-life treatment, but only seven percent of people have had actually had that conversation with their doctor. End-of-life care is not just a difficult topic for health care providers to approach with patients, but it is an especially difficult topic for patients to speak about with their loved ones and family members as well.  Ideally, end-of-life care decisions should be made with physicians and family members, however that rarely occurs. Utilizing best practices and case studies, this course details ways in which health care providers can address end-of-life care with their patients regardless of age or health status.      

Learning Objectives

After reading this material, a participant will be familiar with:

  • Describe the benefits of speaking with all patients about end-of-life care at  an early state of the physician-patient relationship.
  • Discuss the obstacles to an open physician-patient dialogue about end-of-life care.
  • Differentiate between the multiple end-of-life care documents that a health care provider may come in contact with in the normal course of practice.
  • Restate risk management strategies to protect health care providers in end-of-life care situations.


Matthew Mortensen
Content Contributor

Course Fees

Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Member: $15.00
Non-MMS Member: $30.00
Allied Health Professionals: $12.00



CME Credit

1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™

Accreditation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  

AMA Credit Designation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this 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, including 1.00 credit in end-of-life care.

MOC Approval Statement 
Through the American Board of Medical Specialties ("ABMS") ongoing commitment to increase access to practice relevant Maintenance of Certification ("MOC") Activities through the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory , this activity has met the requirements as an MOC Part II CME Activity (apply toward general CME requirement) for the following ABMS Member Boards:

Allergy and Immunology
Colon and Rectal Surgery
Family Medicine
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Preventive Medicine
Psychiatry & Neurology

National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA).
Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.00 Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

A score of 70% or higher is required to receive  AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Activity Term

Original Released Date: October 31, 2016
Review Date: N/A
Termination Date: October 31, 2019

System requirements:

Windows, XP, Vista, 7, 8 
Mac OSX 10.6 higher 
Most modern browsers including: 
Firefox 18.0+ 
Chrome 26+ 
Safari 5+ 
Flash player is required for some Online CME courses.

iOS devices beginning with OS version 5 or higher (includes, iPhone, ipad and iTouch devices) 
Android devices including tablets and phones. 
Windows RT and tablets on Windows 8 are also supported.

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