At the End of Life: Agency, Role, and Responsibilities of the Physician/Advanced Practitioner

SEPTEMBER 13-14, 2019
University of Washington Campus
Husky Union Building (HUB), North Ballroom
Seattle, WA

Physicians and advanced practitioners have the privilege and duty to care for patients at the end of life. Sometimes their actions—including discontinuing life-support (including ventilators, cardiac devices, and dialysis), clinically supporting patients who voluntarily stop eating and drinking (VSED), providing palliative sedation, and, in states where it is legal, prescribing a lethal dose of medication to a dying patient—factor into a patient’s death. These cases have clinical, legal, ethical, sociocultural, spiritual, and psychological dimensions that are often challenging for physicians and advanced practitioners to navigate.

At this conference, we’ll set the stage for ongoing discussion of these practices and the issues physicians and advanced practitioners caring for dying patients often face, as both medical technology and patients’ requests for planned death evolve.

The Washington End of Life Coalition—sponsored by the WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement—is partnering with the UW School of Medicine Department of Bioethics & Humanities, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence at the University of Washington, and UW School of Law to present this national conference on the physician/advanced practitioner’s agency, role and responsibilities at the end of life.