End of life doula (BREV 1100)

Make a positive impact in your community and help those who need support by becoming an End of Life Doula. Are you working in health care and looking to receive end of life doula training within a Canadian context? Or maybe you’re a family caregiver who wants to understand the complexities of death and dying? Through our end of life doula program you’ll learn to provide the best possible care and support for those who are nearing the end of life. You’ll get experience developing care plans, responding effectively to grief, facilitating family meetings, teaching self-care practices and more. Find out more below.


Course Name

End of Life Doula

Course Description

This course is designed for individuals who have been or will be called upon to provide care, support and advocacy for someone who is facing the end of their life. Students in this course develop an understanding of how the continuity of care and advocacy they provide complements the end of life care provided by the medical community and hospice palliative care workers and volunteers.


Whether you are a family caregiver seeking a deeper understanding of the questions and issues that arise at end of life, or are planning to open a practice as an End of Life Doula, this course will provide you with opportunities to discuss issues, ask questions, and find a community of practice that can support you as a caregiver through the end of life journey.


For more information about the community of practice for End of Life Doulas, please contact The End of Life Doula Association of Canada.

Subject Code

BREV 1100

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:


  • describe end of life care and the role of the   End of Life Doula;
  • discuss a range of beliefs and practices surrounding death;
  • demonstrate effective communication skills;
  • understand the complexity of grief and demonstrate effective responses to expressions of grief;
  • understand and demonstrate the use of Advance Care Planning tools
  • understand the legalities of funeral practices in the Province; and
  • understand the End of Life Doula community of practice.





Textbooks not included in tuition fee. 


There are no formal prerequisites for this course, but completion of English 12 with a minimum grade of “C” or proof of equivalent as outlined in detail on the General Admission Information page is assumed.

Students who register are understood to be confirming successful completion of this expectation.

Course Content

Topics covered include:


  • palliative care and the complementary role of the End of Life Doula;
  • changing demographics and its effect on the health care system;
  • cross-cultural and religious beliefs and practices surrounding death;
  • effective communication skills;
  • vigiling and vigil support
  • complexity of grief and grieving, and the variety of coping mechanisms employed by the bereaved;
  • community resources available;
  • importance of and tools for Advanced Care Planning;
  • ethics and legal requirements; and
  • building a community of practice.

Course outline.

Learning Resources

Required book as of September 1, 2020:

  • Fersko-Weiss, Henry (2020), Finding Peace at the End of Life, A Death Doula’s Guide for Families and Caregivers:  978-1-59003-502-3


  • Fersko-Weiss, Henry (2020), Finding Peace at the End of Life, A Death Doula’s Guide for Families and Caregivers, DIGITAL:  978-1-63341-107-4

 *suggested to read in advance, however can be read during course also (approx 1.5hrs of reading/night)

Additional recommended books:

  • Okun, B. (2012) Saying Goodbye: A Guide to Coping with a Loved One’s Terminal Illness, NY: Berkley Books
  • Kessler, D. (2007) The Needs of the Dying, NY: Harper Collins

Contact the Douglas College Bookstore or local/online bookseller for prices and ordering information.

Please purchase the book in advance of the course start date.

Instruction Method

This is traditionally a classroom-based course, however courses have presently been moved to online delivery, until the end of 2021. Students are expected to participate in class discussions.


You will need a computer that is connected to the internet to access the Blackboard Collaborate virtual platform. We recommend using either Chrome or Firefox as your browser. As your course includes live sessions, you will also need to enable your computer's audio and microphone to participate.


You can check if your computer is compatible with Blackboard Collaborate here and check to see if your browser is compatible here.



Two (approx 30-60mins ea) take-home assignments and two in-class assignments.


This course is graded on a Mastery/Non-mastery basis.  Recognition of Course Completion for successful participants of the course, is issued digitally, by the Department of Continuing Education, Health Sciences.

An official Douglas College transcript can be ordered via my Account.

Completion Timeframe

32 hours

Registration and Course Start

Registration is easy: simply call CE Registration at 604-527-5472 or toll-free at 1-866-930-5472 and quote the CRN (below) for the session you are interested in. Payment of the tuition fee must accompany registration.


Instructions on how to access your course materials will be emailed to you by the Program Assistant within five (5) business days prior to your chosen course start date.


Please note: while the College does everything it can to ensure that courses will proceed, we reserve the right to cancel an offering up to one week prior to the start date if minimum enrollment numbers are not met. Full refunds will be issued in the event of cancellation. 


Upcoming offerings

Frequently Asked Questions