© 2017

The Skill of End-of-Life Communication for Clinicians

Getting to the Root of the Ethical Dilemma


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Ethics book series (BRIEFSETHIC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Kathleen Benton
    Pages 1-8
  3. Kathleen Benton
    Pages 9-18
  4. Kathleen Benton
    Pages 19-27
  5. Kathleen Benton
    Pages 29-50
  6. Kathleen Benton
    Pages 51-78
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 79-81

About this book


With a focus on end-of-life discussion in aging and chronically ill populations, this book offers insight into the skill of communicating in complex and emotionally charged discussions. This text is written for all clinicians and professionals in the fields of healthcare and public health who are faced with questions of ethical deliberation when a patient’s illness turns from chronic to terminal. This skill is required to manage care well in an age of advanced technology, and numerous autonomous choices. With a palliative care and ethics focus, the manuscript provides case studies illustrating issues which occur in the acuity and chronicity of end of life. Clear tools for clinicians, such as scripting and “the advance care planning video library" are included. The book focuses on the unique concept of outpatient ethics, including readmission prevention and shortened length of stay through good communication for clinicians who will be required to conduct this discussion with patients. The ethical undertone in this text provides a perfect opening for application in healthcare ethics classes, both in fields of public health and healthcare. Medical scholars and physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, as well as social workers, both in practice and training, will benefit from this text.


end-of-life communication ethical dilemmas ethics and the end of life end-of-life treatment palliative care medicalization of death advance directives outpatient ethics Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment medical ethics cultural medical ethics public healthcare ethics nursing ethics palliative medicine

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Ethics and Palliative CareArmstrong State UniversitySavannahUSA

About the authors

Kathleen Benton is the director of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care at a local hospital in Savannah. Georgia. She is heavily involved in the region through volunteer advisory board roles and professorships at Armstrong State University and the Mercer University Medical School. Dr. Benton has a master’s degree in medical ethics and a doctorate in public health. She has authored and reviewed many publications relevant to the topics of palliative care, ethics, hospice, and communication. Her first publication, a children’s book entitled Daniel’s World: A Book about Children with Disabilities, is the closest to heart. She lives her vocation, passionate about helping families through ethical decision-making processes. She resides in Savannah with her husband, Rex, and her three children, Julia Grace, Jack, and Andrew. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Skill of End-of-Life Communication for Clinicians
  • Book Subtitle Getting to the Root of the Ethical Dilemma
  • Authors Kathleen Benton
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Ethics
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs in Ethics
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-60443-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-60444-2
  • Series ISSN 2211-8101
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-811X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXI, 81
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Theory of Medicine/Bioethics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This book presents a personal account of the death of a family member to illustrate perceived communication deficits in planning and prioritizing care for a patient with chronic, progressive illness. … The book is written for those in medical school and advanced allied professional school.” (Michele S. Loos, Doody's Book Reviews, September, 2017)