Singapore University of Social Sciences

End of Life Policies, Issues and Care

End of Life Policies, Issues and Care (GER515)


GER515 End of Life Policies, Issues and Care examines the issues and challenges in the design and delivery of end of life care in the context of an ageing population. The course explores the meaning and purpose of palliative care, tracing the history and development of this discipline both in the global as well as in the Singapore context. The medical, social, psychological and spiritual dimensions are examined with due recognition of the role of the informal e.g. family and friends, and the formal e.g. hospice, geriatric wards of hospitals, settings. Values and beliefs about death, afterlife, and superstitions will be also discussed. Concepts and theories related to bereavement, grieving and mourning in different cultural contexts are emphasised and applied to the local Asian context. Skills development and explorations of suitable programme interventions for bereaved older adults and their families conclude the course.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Values Clarification
  • Ethical issues
  • The social context of dying, grieving and mourning
  • Theories of grieving and mourning
  • Palliative and hospice care
  • The Palliative Care movement
  • Guest speaker on issues and challenges of working in palliative care
  • Developing skills set
  • Communication and assessment
  • Case Study discussion to help students to understand the complexity of end-of-life issues, care arrangements and ethical dilemmas confronting caregivers
  • Interventions with bereaved older adults and their families
  • Review of module

Learning Outcome

  • Examine the social, psychological, legal, ethical, medical and spiritual dimensions of end of life issues and care
  • Analyse the growth of the palliative care movement within the context of global ageing
  • Assess end-of-life care needs of seniors and support needs of their caregivers with the purpose of proposing appropriate interventions
  • Formulate palliative and end-of-life care plans with seniors and their families by justifying the use of available resources
  • Design interventions to engage the community to address end-of-life care issues
  • Evaluate issues and challenges related to the design and delivery of end-of-life care by formal and informal care systems in Singapore in order to recommend appropriate improvements to end-of-life services for the seniors
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