Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
McCarthy J
14th ICNE International Ethics Conference
An Ethical Framework for End-of-Life Care: An Irish Perspective
Optional Fields
end of life ethics ethical framework
Melbourne, Australia

An Ethical Framework for End-of-life Care: an Irish perspective

The Ethical Framework for End-of-life Care is a national project that emerged from a unique collaboration between University College Cork, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Irish Hospice Foundation, with contributions from ethicists, legal experts, theologians, sociologists and clinicians.

The Framework, consisting of 8 Modules of Learning, is a set of educational resources that address some of the most pressing ethical and legal challenges in relation to death and dying that patients, health professionals and families must face. What makes this project unique is its deliberate and conscious deployment of both philosophical and empirical research methodologies. It draws on a range of ethical values and principles, professional codes of conduct, policy documents and laws. It is also informed by extensive national and international research on patientsí, familiesí and health professionalsí experiences of death and dying.

The educational aim of the Framework is not to tell people what to do, but to offer tools for thinking about difficult problems. The objective is to foster a range of ethical skills and competencies to ensure that ethical decisions are arrived at in the most reasonable, sensitive and collaborative way possible.

This paper describes, explains and critically appraises the key features of the Framework. It also presents the Study Sessions that evolved from the Framework and tells the story of the ongoing challenges of developing and disseminating the resources.

The Framework and the Study Sessions are available (free) online at:

The Framework is published as a book:

McCarthy J., Donnelly M., Dooley D., Campbell L., Smith D. (2011) End-of-Life Care: Ethics and Law, Cork: Cork University Press. ISBN 978 185918 481 3, sbk, 468pp, 294 x 197mm, Ä25/£20).

Deakin University School of Nursing and Midwifery
Grant Details