272964 A Fresh Look at the Professional Consensus on the Ethics of End of Life Care

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Bruce Jennings, MA , Department of Bioethics, Center for Humans and Nature, Dobbs Ferry, NY
In 2012 a blue ribbon panel of experts convened by The Hastings Center completed a significant new publication, Guidelines for Decisions on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life: Second Expanded Edition from The Hastings Center. Publication of this book is expected in late 2012 or early 2013. This presentation will review the research that was conducted on the current understanding of the ethical and legal framework for decision making concerning critical and palliative care for patients with serious life-limiting illness. It will also summarize the main findings and recommendations of this research. Finally the presentation will reflect on the central place that relational or ecological issues such as communication, cultural context, and institutional settings now play in the end of life decision making process. A significant transformation from individualistic and adversarial perspectives to communicative and relational perspectives has taken place in the professional consensus concerning end of life care. This “relational turn” is reflected strongly in the new Hastings Center Guidelines. The presentation will argue that developments in palliative care in the last decade have significantly influenced the new direction of this consensus.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe standards contained in new Hastings Center end of life care guidelines. Explain the individual rights, communications, and palliative care perspectives on end of life care. Identify recent trends and shifts in professional consensus concerning the appropriate process of end of life care decisionmaking.

Keywords: End-of-Life Care, Ethics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have authored numerous books and articles on the topic. I have been a member of many consulting and policy groups in the end of life care area for the past 25 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.