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Clinical Medical Ethics: A Skills and Knowledge Primer


Clinical Medical Ethics: A Skills and Knowledge Primer is a 10-part video lecture series, intended to help build a moral community by introducing the knowledge base and skill set necessary to recognize, analyze and respond to clinical ethics issues that arise in health care.

Target Audience:

Although specifically created for physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, administrators, health care lawyers, community representatives and others who serve on ethics committees, it is appropriate for any health care professional seeking more knowledge related to clinical ethics.

Learning Objectives:

After participating in this activity, the learner should be able to:

  • Identify the most important rule of good communication in this setting
  • Plan a communication strategy following the 5 phases of effective communication for serious illness
  • Distinguish this communication strategy from the SICP Guide
  • Explore issues related to prognosis, truth, and hope
  • Improve communication in the setting of brain injuries, unconsciousness, and coma

For further study:

  • How to Break Bad News: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Buckman R. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992
  • Fine RL. Communication in the Face of Critical Illness. BUMC Proceedings, Volume 10, Number 1, 1997
  • Quill TE, Arnold R, Black AL. Discussing Treatment Preferences with Patients Who Want “Everything.” Annals of Internal Medicine. September 2009;151(5):345-349


Robert L. Fine, MD, FACP, FAAHPM
Office of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care, BSWH

Martha Philastre
Director Strategic Initiatives, Palliative Care & Clinical Ethics

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships:

  • This content is not related to products or business lines of an ACCME-defined ineligible company.
  • There are no relevant financial relationships with ACCME-defined ineligible company for anyone who was in control of the content of this activity.

Accreditation: The A. Webb Roberts Center for Continuing Medical Education of Baylor Scott & White Health is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation: The A. Webb Roberts Center for Continuing Medical Education of Baylor Scott & White Health, designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ABIM MOC: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to .75 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

Meets Texas Requirements for Ethics/Professional Responsibility Credit

This CME activity type is an enduring material.  Physicians who complete the enduring material may claim the full amount of credit designated for the activity, regardless of the amount of time it took the physician to complete the activity.

Commercial Support:
No commercial support was received for this activity.