Online Program

End of Life as a Public Health Issue: Setting the Ethics and Policy Making Agenda

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Akiva Turner, PhD, JD, MPH, College of Health Care Sciences, Nova Southeastern University, Lauderdale by the Sea, FL
Alina M. Perez, JD, MPH, LCSW, Masters of Public Health Program, Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Kathy Cerminara, JD, Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
With the aging of the US population, ethical issues associated with access and quality of end -of- life care become a priority as individuals, providers and systems struggle to address the need for a compassionate, cost effective, integrated way to address end of life issues (EOL).  Approaching this as a public health matter provides both opportunities and challenges.  Among the opportunities is to assure better mental and physical health as the inevitable end approaches for some who are dying.  Among the challenges is the integration of existing and new policies within a collaborative and sustainable system of care while dealing with vocal public concerns about futility determinations and rationing.  As the American Public Health Association and the Institute of Medicine urge to address the unmet needs of those at the end of life, we (1) provide an overview of what the states have done about the different aspects of EOL such as advance directives, POLST, Hospice/palliative care and aid in dying via their policies and laws; and (2) Explore to what extent, and in what order, public health authorities should be incorporated as one of the leading forces in assuring a functional and sustainable care system capable of supporting ethical patient choices at the end of life.

Learning Areas:

Clinical medicine applied in public health
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify opportunities and challenges in defining end of life as a public health issue

Keyword(s): Ethics, End-of-Life Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Associate Professor at Nova. I have a Ph.D. in anthropology (medical emphasis) and a master of public health from UCLA and hold a law degree from Yeshiva University. I formerly served as the ED of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, as a Georgia County Health Director, as the CEO of a public health hospital, and as the Deputy General Counsel/Chief Privacy Officer of the NYC DOHMH.
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.