Improving End of Life Care: Why Has it Been So Difficult?

Developing a summative report on progress in the end-of-life field

The Hastings Center published a special report, "Improving End of Life Care: Why Has It Been So Difficult?," as a supplement to the November/December 2005 issue of the Hastings Center Report.

The goal of the special report was to assess progress in end-of-life care in the decade following dissemination of results from SUPPORT (Study to Understand Prognoses and Preferences and Risks of Treatment), a $28-million randomized clinical trial funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Key Results: The Hasting Center:

  • Published the special report "Improving End of Life Care: Why Has It Been So Difficult?" as a supplement to the November/December 2005 issue of the Hastings Center Report, and as a freestanding publication.
    • The peer-reviewed report includes 10 commissioned essays by a multidisciplinary panel of ethicists, legal scholars, nursing and medical faculty and clinicians.
  • Contracted with two communications firms to help disseminate the special report:
    • Sojourn Communications coordinated distribution of the supplement to organizations in the end-of-life field.
    • Burness Communications convened a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 10, 2005, for legislators and the media.
  • Distributed some 5,000 copies of the special report as a supplement to the Hastings Center Report.
  • Distributed an additional 19,500 copies to end-of-life experts and organizations, legislators, members of the media and others.
  • As of July 2008, 6,373 copies of the report have been downloaded from the Hastings Center website.