End-of-Life Decision Making across Cultures

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 39 (2):201-214 (2011)
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Abstract

As is evident from the other articles in this special issue, end-of-life treatment has engendered a vigorous dialogue in the United States over the past few decades because decision making at the end of life raises broad and difficult ethical issues that touch on health professionals, patients, and their families. This concern is exacerbated by the high cost related to the end of life in the U.S. Moreover, in light of demographic patterns, progressively scarce health care resources, and an expanding array of life-saving technologies, decisions at the end of life are becoming problematic matters of public and, thus, scholarly concern in most countries. Issues at the end of life are central not only to bioethics but also raise important ancillary policy dimensions.

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