Policy Issues in End-of-Life Care

Virginia P. Tilden, Sarah Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of this policy brief is to bring attention to the urgent systems-level matters that impede progress in improving end-of-life care in the United States. Despite advances in care of the dying over the last 20 years, many recalcitrant system-level barriers prevent high-quality end-of-life care that is consistent with clinical and ethical standards and reasonably adheres to patient and family wishes for care and compassion. A major barrier is the orientation of health care toward rescue medicine despite the fact that most deaths today result from long-standing chronic disease. Recommendations for policy changes are suggested, and nursing's role in advocating for policy change is explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • End-of-life
  • Palliative care
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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