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Format:  Self-paced / asynchronous program
Engage with this recorded program on your schedule.

Online Course Available button with UNC School of Social Work Logo and blue arrowCE: 3 CEs total, read for more information on CEs
Fee: $52, read for more information on fees and scholarships

Description: It is our ethical, professional responsibility to be prepared to assist clients and family members facing serious illness and end-of-life concerns; and the covid-19 pandemic has heightened people’s attention to mortality. This workshop will help participants think through some of the ethical issues that may arise particularly with black and brown patients and their families facing health and end-of-life concerns within the context of historical and structural racism. Throughout, Dr. Karen Bullock will emphasize the importance of person-centered, culturally competent, compassionate practices that center client’s right to self-determination, dignity, and what they find most meaningful. She will illustrate this with examples from her practice and research and her work on hospital ethics committees.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify and apply at least 1 tool or framework for ethical application of advanced care planning
  2. Name and describe at least 3 ethical considerations for end-of-life care
  3. Identify and discuss at least 2 potential challenges for practitioners to providing end-of-life care that centers client dignity, integrity, and cultural competence

headshot of Karen Bullock with plant and bookshelf in the backgroundTrainer: Karen Bullock, Ph.D. is Professor and Head of the School of Social Work at North Carolina State University, in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She has been a leading force in advancing social work practice, education, and training in gerontology, mental health, hospice and palliative care, and health equity, and has won many awards and honors for her work. Dr. Bullock is a John A. Hartford Faculty Scholar and serves on various national boards and committees, including the Social Work National Deans And Directors (NADD) Executive Board; the NC Institute of Medicine (IOM) Task Force on Serious Illness Care Executive Committee; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable Committee on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness; the American Hospital Association Circle of Life Award Committee; John and Wauna Harman Foundation Board of Trustees; and Duke’s Center for Research to Advance Health Equity (REACH). She is also a Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar, funded by the SORORS Foundation. She is the Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network (SWHPN) Chair-elect; and is the immediate past Chair of the American Cancer Society (ACS) Oncology Social Work Research Peer Review Committee. Dr. Bullock has held clinical and academic appointments at the University of Connecticut Center on Aging, Hartford Hospital, and the Institute of Living Inpatient and Outpatient Geriatric Services in Connecticut, Salem State College and Smith College in Massachusetts, and UNC-Wilmington. She is Chair of the NASW Mental Health Section Committee and previous Chair to NASW National Committee on Race and Ethnic Diversity (NCORED). She is a frequent invited speaker nationally and internationally on serious illness care, health equity, palliative and end-of-life care and quoted as an expert in these areas.


  • Bullock, K. (2006). Promoting advance directives among African Americans: A faith-based model. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 9(1), 183-195.
  • Bullock, K., Gray, T. F., Tucker, R., & Quest, T. E. (2022). Race roundtable series: Structural racism in palliative care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management,
  • Cadet, T., Burke, S. L., Naseh, M., Grudzien, A., Kozak, R. S., Romeo, J., Bullock, K., & Davis, C. (2021). Examining the family support role of older Hispanics, African Americans, and Non-Hispanic Whites and their breast cancer screening behaviors. Social Work in Public Health, 36(1), 38-53.
  • Elbaum, A. (2020). Black lives in a pandemic: Implications of systemic injustice for End‐of‐Life care. The Hastings Center Report, 50(3), 58-60.
  • Morrison, R. S., Meier, D. E., & Arnold, R. M. (2021). What’s wrong with advance care planning? JAMA : The Journal of the American Medical Association, 326(16), 1575-1576.
  • Moss, K. O., Deutsch, N. L., Hollen, P. J., Rovnyak, V. G., Williams, I. C., & Rose, K. M. (2018). Understanding end-of-life decision-making terminology among African American older adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 44(2), 33-40.
  • Peterson, L. J., Hyer, K., Meng, H., Dobbs, D., Gamaldo, A., & O’Neil, K. (2019). Discussing end-of-life care preferences with family: Role of race and ethnicity. Research on Aging, 41(9), 823-844.
  • Rahemi, Z., & Williams, C. L. (2020). Does ethnicity matter—Cultural factors underlying older adults’ end-of-life care preferences: A systematic review. Geriatric Nursing, 41(2), 89-97.
  • Romain, F., & Courtwright, A. (2016). Can I trust them to do everything? the role of distrust in ethics committee consultations for conflict over life-sustaining treatment among afro-caribbean patients. Journal of Medical Ethics, 42(9), 582-585.
  • Saracino, R. M., Rosenfeld, B., Breitbart, W., & Chochinov, H. M. (2019). Psychotherapy at the end of life. American Journal of Bioethics, 19(12), 19-28.
  • Schweda, M., Schicktanz, S., Raz, A., & Silvers, A. (2017). Beyond cultural stereotyping: Views on end-of-life decision making among religious and secular persons in the USA, Germany, and Israel. BMC Medical Ethics, 18(1), 13-13.
  • Sevier, C. H., Fischer, J., & Bullock, K. (2020). Leaning in to serious illness care through stories and science. North Carolina Medical Journal, 81(4), 237-241.
  • Sevier, C. H., Fischer, J., & Bullock, K. (2020). Leaning in to serious illness care through stories and science. North Carolina Medical Journal (Durham, N.C.), 81(4), 237-241.
  • Stein, G. L., Sherman, P. A., & Bullock, K. (2009). Educating gerontologists for cultural proficiency in end-of-life care practice. Educational Gerontology, 35(11), 1008-1025.
  • Tergas, A. I., Prigerson, H. G., Shen, M. J., Bates, L. M., Neugut, A. I., Wright, J. D., & Maciejewski, P. K. (2019). Latino ethnicity, immigrant status, and preference for end-of-life cancer care. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 22(7), 833-837.
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