DVD Resources

Difficult conversations near the end of life

Difficult conversations near the end of life

This DVD is designed to supplement training interventions for junior medical staff regarding end-of-life discussions. It was developed as a collaborative project between CeMPED and the Pam McLean Communication Centre, University of Sydney and the Department of Palliative Care, Royal North Shore Hospital. The project was funded by a Cancer Institute NSW Clinical Research Fellowship for Associate Professor Josephine Clayton as well as a National Health and Medical Research Council Strategic Palliative Care Research Grant.

Copies can be ordered for a nominal fee plus postage by contacting Phyllis Butow .

“Ben Cooper, the oncology resident, arrives at the start of his shift to find that Mr Barry White, a patient with advanced colon cancer, needs an urgent medial review. He was admitted overnight with increasing shortness of breath and Ben recognises that he may only have days to live. Both the specialist and the senior registrar are unavailable and Ben will need to have some difficult conversations with Barry and his wife Barbara – how will he approach this?

In this presentation, Ben discusses the patient’s condition, goals of care and “No CPR” orders with Barry and his wife, and talks to Barbara one-on-one about what to expect in the coming days. Ben’s approach to these conversations demonstrates key messages in evidence-based clinical practice guidelines1 regarding end-of-life communication.”

1. Clayton JM, Hancock KM, Butow PN, Tattersall MHN, Currow DC. Clinical practice guidelines for communicating prognosis and end-of-life issues with adults in the advanced stages of a life-limiting illness, and their caregivers. Medical Journal of Australia 2007; 186 (12): S77- 108. Available from http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/186_12_180607/cla11246_fm.html