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Ethics in End-of-Life Care is Highlighted in New Journal of Oncology Practice Special Series

This article originally appeared on www.ASCO.org

The October 2017 Issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice is a Special Series that highlights end-of-life care in relation to clinical ethics in oncology. The articles included in this Issue show the progression of clinical ethics over the last 50 years and the ways physicians are working hard to provide their patients with optimal care at the end of life.

Taking care of patients and their families as they face end-of-life care decisions is an important and difficult role that oncologists serve—it is often uncomfortable and at times will reveal conflicting values and goals among the providers, patients, and their families. The October Issue addresses several specific challenges of communication near the end of life, physician-assisted dying, goals of end-of-life care, and other contemporary issues in caring for advanced cancer patients. The Special Series also features several articles that emphasize the important role of palliative care in providing comprehensive support of patients and their families at all stages of cancer care.

“We do want people to feel hopeful and to know that those of us who have taken on the task of caring for them are giving it our all, but we do not want people to feel like they lost the fight or were not strong enough when the face they reality of dying from cancer,” write Nneka Sederstrom, Thomas W. LeBlanc, and Jamie Von Roenn in the issue Foreword, Ethics Never Left. The reflections from providers included in this Issue help their peers and the public to better understand the complexities of the oncologist’s role.

Some of the studies highlighted in the Ethics in End-of-Life Care Special Series include:

By modifying these measures, providers can better meet the needs of these patients and their families. The authors advocate for the establishment of quality measure to specifically address pediatric needs.

ASCO has worked to provide physicians, patients, and others throughout the cancer community with resources and tools to ensure the delivery of high-quality care at the end-of-life to patients with cancer.

The Society has also advocated for payment models that include end of life care as part of its policy goal to advance evidence-based policies and delivery system reform that supports oncology providers in their delivery of high quality, high value cancer care.  Read the full issueand ASCO’s full range of resources on this issue.