Team Disputes at End-of-Life: Toward an Ethic of Collaboration

Team Disputes at End-of-Life: Toward an Ethic of Collaboration

Debra Gerardi, RN, MPH, JD

Fall 2006 - Volume 10 Number 3

Team Disputes at End of Life

There are persistent calls for improving end-of-life care in the United States. Several recurrent issues make end-of-life care suboptimal, including disputes among members of the health care team. Difficulties in end-of-life care arise around issues such as: variability in practice, poor communication among providers, lack of consensus regarding plan of care, incomplete documentation, and differences of opinion regarding the definition of futility. Despite documented support for improved collaboration among health care providers, the struggle to work together continues, often to the detriment of patients and their families, and more profoundly to the caregivers.

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