MEDLINE Journals

    Ethical issues for hospice volunteers.


    Berry P, Planalp S 


    Am J Hosp Palliat Care 2008 Dec-2009 Jan; 25(6) :458-62.


    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.


    Attitude of Health Personnel
    Conflict (Psychology)
    Dissent and Disputes
    Gift Giving
    Hospice Care
    Inservice Training
    Interprofessional Relations
    Middle Aged
    Patient Advocacy
    Practice Guidelines as Topic
    Professional Role
    Qualitative Research
    Southwestern United States
    Suicide, Assisted



    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    PubMed ID


    Content Manager
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