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Annual WVNEC Symposium: Moral Distress, COVID Ethical Challenges, and the New Urgency of Clinical Ethics in Patient Care


Event Cost

WVNEC Members $110
Non-Members $140

Course fee includes morning and afternoon breaks, lunch, course materials, and continuing education credits for those listed in the brochure. Registration is limited to 100 registrants.

Series Description

­In 2021, one of the major challenges in healthcare was having the knowl­edge and skills to be able to address clinical ethical issues in patient care.  Issues such as the following were a few of them: 1) how should we allocate the limited ICU beds, 2) on what basis should we decide who has priority for access to a limited number of vaccines (early in the year), 3) how can we accommodate infection control concerns and the humanity of no one dies alone, or 4) how should we respond to the moral distress of staff who are being required to provide care in a manner in which they are not comfort­able.

This year's symposium will update participants on the ever-increasing importance of clinical ethics in patient care and research that sheds light on the need for ethics education by ethics committees in all settings—hospital, nursing home, hospice, and home health. Speakers and panelists at this symposium will present the profound role of moral distress in today’s healthcare, role model how to analyze and contribute to the resolution of ethical issues in patient care, review the new research on ethics consultation, and recommend how attendees can help to meet the ethics education needs at their institutions.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the WVU School of Medicine and WV Network of Ethics Committees.

The WVU School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The WVU Office of CME designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This continuing education activity has been provided by the West Virginia University School of Nursing for 6.6 contact hours. The West Virginia University School of Nursing is an approved provider of continuing education by the State of West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, Legislative Rule §19CSR11-4 under provider number 50-26086.

This course is sponsored by the Center for Health Ethics and Law, Provider Number 490095, which is a Certified Provider of continuing education credits for social workers. This program has been awarded up to 5.5 hours of continuing education credit.

This program qualifies for a total of 6.3 credits under the West Virginia Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education.

Disclosure: It has been determined that the content of this activity is not related to any products or services of any commercial interests, therefore, no evidence was gathered related to faculty / authors / planners’ relationships with commercial interests.

Series Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to
1. Discuss the healthcare challenges and the ethical principles and processes to be considered in responding to current clinical ethical issues in patient care;
2. Describe the research on factors influencing ethics consultation in US hospitals, including small, non-teaching hospitals;
3. Identify, analyzing and contributing to the resolution of clinical ethical dilemmas;
4. Apply the new information from the symposium to create an ethics education approach for their institution;
5. Explain the 7-step process of ethical decision-making and the role of patient decision-making capacity in it;
6. Describe how to resolve conflict when the values of the treating team and patient/family clash; and
7. Identify ethical principles and healthcare law that provide a framework for decisions about withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.


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