Maryland Attorney General and Johns Hopkins Study Barriers to Effective End-of-Life Care

In June 1997, the Johns Hopkins University Bioethics Institute, Baltimore, and the Maryland attorney general's office formed a partnership to investigate ways to improve End-of-Life care and eliminate the medical and legal barriers to effective palliative care for terminally ill patients in Maryland.

Key Results

  • Project staff engaged in coalition-building activities, interviewed 500–600 individuals involved in End-of-Life care about the problems they encountered, and surveyed 1,890 physicians, nurses, and social workers from across the state who were involved in End-of-Life care.

  • Project staff also helped create the Attorney General's Advisory Board with representatives from consumer and health care groups. The Board met four times throughout the grant period to review the preliminary needs assessment, evaluate potential policy interventions, and plan for the future.

  • A survey of physicians, nurses and social workers that was developed and undertaken provided additional information on the problems of End-of-Life care.

As this planning project was drawing to a close, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) initiated a national program, the Community-State Partnerships to Improve End-of-Life Care, that provides support for states that are in the process of exploring approaches to improving both the policies that govern end-of-life care and communication on end-of-life issues with the public.

RWJF developed the national program based in part on the experience with this project.