Ethical issues for hospice volunteers

Patricia Berry, Sally Planalp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Health care professionals usually receive professional education in ethics, but the half million hospice volunteers in the United States may receive only brief training that is limited to confidentiality and the volunteer role. The purpose of this study was to explore ethical issues hospice volunteers confront in their work. Interviews with 39 hospice volunteers were conducted, audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative methods. Prominent themes were dilemmas about gifts, patient care and family concerns, issues related to volunteer roles and boundaries, and issues surrounding suicide and hastening death. Suggestions for training include discussions of ethics after initial training once volunteers had confronted ethical issues, with special emphasis on strategies for negotiating their uneasy role positioned between health care professional and friend.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-462
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hospices
Ethics
Volunteers
Delivery of Health Care
Gift Giving
Professional Education
Confidentiality
Negotiating
Suicide
Patient Care
Interviews

Keywords

  • End-of-life
  • Ethics
  • Hospice
  • Palliative care
  • Volunteer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Ethical issues for hospice volunteers. / Berry, Patricia; Planalp, Sally.

In: American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Vol. 25, No. 6, 12.2009, p. 458-462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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