Ethical and Legal Issues in Care for Patients with Substance Use Disorder_Enduring

It is well established that the care of pregnant or postpartum women with substance use disorder (SUD) can be a source of work-related stress for clinicians. This presentation will define types of SUD and identify disparities and inequity in treatment. Clinicians must balance principles of beneficence, or preventing harm, with fidelity, which requires fairness, truthfulness, and advocacy. This can be a challenge for clinicians who are in positions where there is a mandatory requirement to report a pregnant woman’s substance use. In these situations, clinicians must be compassionate, truthful, forthcoming and transparent when communicating obligations with patients to maintain trust in the patient-provider relationship.  This discussion will provide recommendations for compassionate care for women with SUD including education on mental health, SUD, interpersonal violence, and treatment options. As patient advocates, clinicians can be a strong voice for pregnant women with substance use disorder and their unborn babies.

There is no educational content to this course. This course is designed to supplement training that has already occurred. This course is designed to only administer the post-test and collect CME evaluations.

Target Audience

Nurses, Social Workers, Health Coaches and Registered Dieticians

Learning Objectives

  • Describe physical challenges pregnant or breastfeeding women face with substance use disorder and the clinical impacts for their infants
  • Analyze a clinician’s ethical obligations to deliver compassionate and transparent care
  • Identify specific recommendations for treatment that benefit pregnant women with SUD and their infants
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 1.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
UPMC HR Direct for the UPMC Health Plan
PIttsburgh, PA 15219
United States
Liz Stokes, JD, MA, RN
Director American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights
Ms. Stokes completed her BSN at the University of Virginia and worked several years as a critical care nurse. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond and worked as a Consultant for the D.C. Board of Nursing interpreting and conferring professional ethics provisions in nursing.  Recently she completed her Masters in Bioethics from Loyola University Chicago. Her leadership is also demonstrated through various charitable roles in the health and legal communities.  Ms. Stokes is a member of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys and serves on the board of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Affinity Group for Nursing.  She also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry and is an active volunteer with the District of Columbia Bar Association. Ms. Stokes is currently an American Academy of Nursing Jonas Health Policy Scholar.
Planning Committee
Michelle Schreiber, MSN, RN, CCM
Clinical Education Coordinator, Clinical Training & Education, UPMC Health Plan
Michele Gordon, PhD, LSW
Program Manager, Clinical Training & Education, UPMC Health Plan
Conflict of Interest Disclosure
No planners, members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships to disclose.
Disclaimer Statement
The information presented at this CME program represents the views and opinions of the individual presenters, and does not constitute the opinion or endorsement of, or promotion by, the UPMC Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, UPMC / University of Pittsburgh Medical Center or Affiliates and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  Reasonable efforts have been taken intending for educational subject matter to be presented in a balanced, unbiased fashion and in compliance with regulatory requirements. However, each program attendee must always use his/her own personal and professional judgment when considering further application of this information, particularly as it may relate to patient diagnostic or treatment decisions including, without limitation, FDA-approved uses and any off-label uses.
In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
Nursing (CNE)
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 1.0 contact hours.
Other Healthcare Professionals
Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 1.00 Attendance
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