Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Online resource developed by RCSI researchers to support end of life care

11 February 2011

A public educational framework the ‘Ethical Framework for End of Life Care' has been developed by researchers in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in collaboration with University College Cork, The Irish Hospice Foundation and the Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HfH) Programme with contributions from ethicists, legal experts, theologians, sociologists and clinicians.

The ‘Ethical Framework for End of Life Care' is an educational resource that aims to foster and support ethically and legally sound clinical practice in end-of-life treatment and care in Irish hospitals. The framework was informed by national and international research on patients' and families' experience of death and dying and the contribution of health professionals and organisations to quality end-of-life care. The framework will be a valuable resource to healthcare professionals, medical, nursing, physiotherapy and allied health professions involved in patient care.

Topics covered in the framework include, Breaking Bad News, Patient Autonomy, Patient Confidentiality, Life Prolonging Treatments, Pain Management and Governance in clinical care.

Professor David Smith, Healthcare Ethics, Department of General Practice, Ms. Catherine O' Neill, Lecturer Healthcare Ethics, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and Dr. Christina Quinlan, Research Officer, RCSI were involved in the development of the resource.

This resource can be accessed at the Hospice Friendly Hospitals website and e-publications@RCSI, the RCSI institutional repository (