Next start date: To be announced soon for 2022

– Register interest to be sure you’ll be alerted to this –

Patients with Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness lack capacity to make decisions about their own medical treatment. So, how should the Mental Capacity Act 2005 be implemented in making decisions for them? Who makes decisions? How? And what are the guidelines for providing, or withdrawing, life-sustaining interventions such as Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration? How have cases involving disputes played out in court?
This course is ideal for anyone concerned about, or involved in, decisions about life-sustaining treatment for PDoC patients. It is designed for frontline clinical teams, and has also proved of interest to managers, healthcare lawyers and anyone interested in law and ethics.
This course covers key legal issues such as who is responsible for decisions, the role of the family, and how decision-making is impacted by  Advance Decisions, LPAs and Welfare Deputies. It also takes you through rapidly evolving case law over the last few years, and invites you to reflect on your own values and approach to patients. It will give you a firm grounding in the legal and ethical issues concerning best interests around serious medical treatments and help you develop your own, and your organisation’s, good practice.

Next start date: To be announced soon for 2022 – register to be sure you’ll be alerted to this

Delivery: entirely online

Interactivity:  All our courses have interactive elements (eg polls & quizzes). In addition, when we  run a scheduled course there is a cohort of students learning alongside one another who interact via the discussion board, exchange ideas about best practice and pose questions of each other and of the tutor.

Course lead author/tutorProfessor Jenny Kitzinger, Cardiff University.

Duration of  course: 4 weeks (self-study materials, for completion at own pace. Tutor will be available online to respond to questions)

Study time involved: 7 hours (or more with optional activities) (+ a final online discussion workshop may be offered if the course authors have time – optional)

Assessment: self-assessment quizzes & reflection (auto-generated certification of participation on completion).

Cost: £30 (provides individual access to the online course materials for 1 month)

Centres taking on courses: we can make special arrangements for centre managers/teams who wish to organise a course for 30+ staff. This can include the possibility of an in-person seminar discussion. Contact us for details, costings & to discuss requirements.

Students on placement: For this course we offer 10 free places to students doing placements in centres that care for PDoC patients. To apply for a free place email Professor Jenny Kitzinger (KitzingerJ@cardiff.ac.uk) with details of your placement, dates of placement and a couple of sentences about why you’d like to do the course. 

Example of course content

  1. Introduction: Course Welcome; Connecting Learners
  2. Context: Personal Reflection; Social Context: What might you want?
  3. Best Interests: What is Best Interests?; Best Interests about CANH; The role of family & friends; The Best Interests gap; Putting Learning into practice
  4. Debates: Evidence; Disputes; Whose values? Recent case law.
  5. Processes: Timeliness & assumptions; Challenges & solutions; Delivering good policy and practice.
  6. Summary: Reflections & action plan; Feedback & CPD certificate

Note: You’ll need a computer & internet access to do the course – with a microphone to listen to audio & the usual software for playing Youtube clips etc. If organising this course from a workplace please check the technology and that there is no firewall block before booking.