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Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Therapies: Best Practices

Title: Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Therapies: Best Practices with Pauline Lesage, MD, LLM

Credit Available:

Nurse, Physician and Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

Member Price: $35.00
Non-Member Price: $70.00

Payment Options: Add to Cart without CE/CME
Add to Cart with Nurse CE
Add to Cart with Physician CME credit
Add to Cart with Non-Physician Healthcare Professional Certificate
Length: 1.0 hours

The purpose of this course is to explore the complexity of withholding and withdrawing life sustaining therapies through medical, ethical and legal considerations.


  • Define both concepts
  • Distinguish them from other entities: palliative sedation, physician assistance in dying and euthanasia
  • Review underlying medical, ethical and legal considerations
  • Apply the concepts to clinical situations

Pauline Lesage, MD, LLM

Teaching has been a major part of Dr. Pauline Lesage’s career. At Sherbrooke University in Canada, she developed a program in palliative care and ethics and law at the Faculty of Medicine and also taught a master’s program course on the health care system.

When Dr. Lesage joined the department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Beth Israel as Director of the Palliative Care Division, she developed and sustained the palliative care division and fellowship programs.

Dr. Lesage has contributed to multiple publications in the fields of palliative and hospice care, legal medicine and bioethics. She has authored articles on cancer pain, palliative care, legal aspects of medical practice and informed consent. Her master’s in law thesis is entitled “Withholding and Withdrawing Treatment.” She has lectured frequently on this topic and served on many ethics committees.

Dr. Lesage is a graduate of McGill University School of Medicine in Canada, and earned her master’s in law at Sherbrooke University in Canada.


Faculty: Pauline Lesage, MD, LLM, has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Planners:  Barbara Bouton, MA, FT; Colleen Fleming-Damon, PhDc, APRN-BC, ACHPN-BC, CT; Steven R. Gardner, MPA, PAHM; Myra Glajchen, DSW;
Jennifer Kennedy, RN, MA, BSN, CHC; Karen Richards, PhD, EdS and Judith A. Skretny have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

Russell K. Portenoy, MD, has disclosed a relationship with Pfizer Inc. for departmental research grant support. 

CE/CME Credit:

Nurse: 1.0 Contact Hours
Physician: 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

Completion: In order to complete this online activity and obtain CE/CME credit, participants must view the course in its entirety, correctly answer all case studies and quiz/test questions (as appropriate) and complete the evaluation. You will have 90 days to access this course from the date of purchase.
CE/CME Info: 


Nurse: NHPCO is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

NHPCO designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 contact hour. Nurses should claim only the contact hour commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Accredited status by ANCC refers only to continuing nursing education and does not imply endorsement of any commercial product discussed in conjunction with this activity.


Physician: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and MJHS. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

NHPCO designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their  participation in the activity.

Certificate of Participation for Non-physician Healthcare Professionals: For participants* whose disciplines are other than counselor, nurse, physician, and social worker, you may request a Certificate of Participation for Non-physician Healthcare Professionals to submit to your accrediting bodies/licensing boards for continuing education credit. This certificate will indicate the Webinar was certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. It is the responsibility of participants to submit the certificates to their accrediting bodies/licensing boards for approval. Unfortunately, NHPCO cannot guarantee its acceptance. To receive this certificate, you must complete all CE/CME requirements and indicate your desire to receive this certificate on the evaluation form. *including bereavement professionals, finance professionals, physician assistants, spiritual care givers, etc.

Release Date: June 30, 2017

Expiration Date: 

June 30, 2020

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