Key Role of Social Work in Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution Process: Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) Program in New York and Shared Medical Decision Making at the End of Life
Bomba, Patricia A
Morrissey, Mary Beth
Leven, David C
Journal of social work in end-of-life & palliative care 2011 Jan; 7(1): 56-82
In this article, the authors review the development of the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) Program and recent landmark legislation in New York State in the context of advance care planning and shared medical decision making at the end of life. Social workers are central health care professionals in working with patients, families, practitioners, health care agents, and surrogates in the health systems and in the communication and conflict resolution process that is integral to health care decision making. The critical importance of ethics and end-of-life training and education for social workers is also addressed. Data from a pilot study evaluating interdisciplinary ethics training on legal and ethical content in communication and conflict resolution skills in health care decision making are reported. Recommendations are made for research on education and training of social workers, and investigation of the role and influence of systems in shaping social work involvement in end-of-life and palliative care.
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