Bioethics Blogs

End-of-Life Care Is Getting Worse

Joan Teno’s new report in The Journal of Palliative Medicine confirms that there are still large gaps between the kind of care that patients and families want and the care they actually receive. 

Teno and her coauthors compared two surveys, one conducted in 2000, and the second carried out between 2011 and 2013. Each of the studies asked individuals about the care received by elderly loved ones at the end of life.  

Despite all the effort put into improving end-of-life care in recent years, there was a marked decline in satisfaction between the first survey and the second. While 56.7% of respondents in 2000 said that the care their loved one received was “excellent,” only 47% could say the same in the 2011-2013 study.

Teno rightly observes: “People are less satisfied with care at the close of life, and I think it’s now urgent for us to start thinking about what interventions we can do to improve care at the end of life.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.