A new e-learning session focusing on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) new guidance on treatment and care towards the end of life is now available to all doctors via e-ELCA (the e-learning programme commissioned by the Department of Health to support the national End of Life Care Strategy).
The session, Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision making, explains the key principles in the guidance and helps doctors to apply the principles in the guidance to some of the common challenges that arise when caring for patients towards the end of life. Doctors can log in to complete the session using their GMC number on the e-learning for healthcare website.
Flow chart and vignettes
We have developed a flow chart that sets out the decision making process where questions arise about a patient’s capacity to make their own decisions. We have also produced five short vignettes, which illustrate key points in the flowchart. The vignettes and case studies included in these supporting materials highlight some of the key issues and principles covered in the guidance.
View the flowchart and its vignettes.
A short video highlighting the main issues covered in the guidance and including short clips from doctors, other healthcare professionals, a hospital chaplain and a patient on the most important factors in ensuring patients receive good treatment and care towards the end of life.
View the end of life care video.
GMP in action
GMP in action is an interactive web section which brings the GMC's ethical guidance to life.
You get to choose what the doctor should do in a series of case studies highlighting how the principles in our guidance might work in practice.
The following case studies explore issues covered in Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision-making.
||Mrs Conti has heart failure, her prognosis is very poor and she wishes to be discharged home. The clinical team think that CPR should not be attempted if Mrs Conti's heart stops. How should they approach this discussion with her and her family? Decide what the doctor should do.
||Mr Hartley has had treatment for abdominal cancer but his condition is deteriorating and he is refusing further surgery. There is disagreement between his adult children, Clementine and Robert, about whether to continue with active treatment. Should the doctors accept Mr Hartley's refusal? And what can they do to help resolve the conflict within the family? Decide what the doctors should do.
The vignettes and case studies are fictional and for illustration purposes only.
They provide examples of how the decision-making model in the guidance might work in practice.
Neither the flow chart nor associated material represent GMC guidance or policy in themselves, nor are they intended to replace Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision making (2010) or any other GMC guidance.back to menu
We have developed two longer case studies on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH), issues that we know can be particularly difficult for doctors, members of the healthcare team, patients and those close to them:
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- Case study 1 - explores issues arising from decisions about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Case study 2 - explores issues arising from clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH).
Development of the guidance
You can read about the development of the guidance (1 mb, pdf) which explains the process we undertook during the review.
This included an initial consultation on issues for the guidance to cover and a wide-ranging public consultation held from March to July 2009 to test the draft guidance.back to menu