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 The Ethical Implications of Guilt and Shame
presented by Dane Sommer BCC

90 minutes (1.5 CE hours)

$55/member; $95/nonmember
Item Number: WebR1312
Shipping Weight: 0lbs. 0oz.
Price: $95.00
Guilt and shame have an impact on our ability to make end-of-life decisions. In some cases this is obvious, such as in criminal cases when electing to withdraw support may result in elevation of criminal charges. Less obvious might be the absent parent who reappears after a period of time and then refuses to go along with the custodial parent's decision to withdraw support, donate organs or tissues, or take custody of the patient against all clinical advice. Guilt and shame paralyze or mitigate the decision-making process, This presentation will include an overview of concepts and definitions of guilt and shame. Then it will move into case review, strategies, understanding and outcomes.

Learning Objectives

1. Have a working definition of guilt and shame, and have skills to distinguish between the two.
2. Review current literature and research on guilt and shame.
3. Understand how guilt and shame affect ethical reflection and decision-making in health care.


Rev. Dr. Dane R. Sommer BCC has been the director of Chaplaincy Services at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO, since 1987. He is also the assistant director of Bioethics Policy and Practice. Dr. Sommer was the first full-time chaplain at Children's Mercy. The Department of Chaplaincy Services now includes seven full-time and four part-time chaplains.

Dr. Sommer received his master of divinity degree from the United Theological Seminar of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, MN, and his doctorat of ministry from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO, completing a qualitative research project titled, "How Children Die: A Narrative Review of Twenty-Two Pediatric Deaths." He is a BCCI board certified chaplain and a member of APC, and has full standing in the United Church of Christ. Dr. Sommer was the founder and first president of the Pediatric Chaplains Network, an organization designed for support of the unique needs of chaplains who work in pediatrics. A former member of the national UNOS Ethics Committee, he currently serves as an adjunct professor of bioethics at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He is a frequent lecturer on the theological and spiritual issues of working with hospitalized children. His most recent focus has been on the issue of suffering and evil.

How it Works

When you purchase this webinar recording, you will receive a PDF file with links to watch the recording and access supplemental materials directly from our website. You'll be able to hear and see the complete presentation, including Q&A with the audience. To participate, all that is needed is a computer with Internet access and speakers, as the presentation audio and visuals are "webcast."