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Dying in America

Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

; .

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-30310-1ISBN-10: 0-309-30310-9

For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. Unfortunately, the experience of dying in the United States is often characterized by fragmented care, inadequate treatment of distressing symptoms, frequent transitions among care settings, and enormous care responsibilities for families. According to this report, the current health care system of rendering more intensive services than are necessary and desired by patients, and the lack of coordination among programs increases risks to patients and creates avoidable burdens on them and their families. Dying in America is a study of the current state of health care for persons of all ages who are nearing the end of life.

Death is not a strictly medical event. Ideally, health care for those nearing the end of life harmonizes with social, psychological, and spiritual support. All people with advanced illnesses who may be approaching the end of life are entitled to access to high-quality, compassionate, evidence-based care, consistent with their wishes.

Dying in America evaluates strategies to integrate care into a person- and family-centered, team-based framework, and makes recommendations to create a system that coordinates care and supports and respects the choices of patients and their families. The findings and recommendations of this report will address the needs of patients and their families and assist policy makers, clinicians and their educational and credentialing bodies, leaders of health care delivery and financing organizations, researchers, public and private funders, religious and community leaders, advocates of better care, journalists, and the public to provide the best care possible for people nearing the end of life.

Contents

Suggested citation:

IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2015. Dying in America: Improving quality and honoring individual preferences near the end of life. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

Copyright 2015 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK285681PMID: 25927121DOI: 10.17226/18748

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