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Hastings Center calls on health care professionals and organizations to meet standards for good care near the end of life
Date:5/7/2013

rmining decision-making capacity, and all aspects of surrogate decision-making for adults and children. It outlines strategies to help patients, families, and professionals work together to resolve conflicts. It explains the cultural, psychological, and social factors, including religion and spirituality, that may shape people's values or influence how they make medical decisions, insights that can help health care professionals provide the most appropriate and respectful care.

The new edition of the Guidelines acknowledges cost as an ethical concern in health care. "The ethical goal of treating all patients equitably requires health care institutions to grapple with the moral as well as the fiscal dimensions of resource allocation and health care cost," the authors write. "Professionals need opportunities to discuss these difficult issues in an open and factually well-informed way." The book includes a guide for hospitals and other institutions, with six strategies to encourage productive discussions that can support the development and use of a transparent policy.

Describing the Guidelines, Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., a pioneer in palliative care and the Chair of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, writes, "It is the sourcebook for how the ethics of life-sustaining treatment and care at the end of life should be taught, institutionalized, and translated into clinical teaching and practice."


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Contact: Susan Gilbert
gilberts@thehastingscenter.org
The Hastings Center
Source:Eurekalert

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