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In response to emerging ethical, clinical and legal issues regarding end-of-life care, the College established end-of-life care as a priority for policy development and education. A panel of experts was convened to develop ethical, policy, and clinical recommendations based on consensus that would promote high quality palliative care. Funding from the Greenwall Foundation supported this effort.
The Consensus Panel identified issues for which consensus recommendations would be most helpful to physicians and other healthcare providers. The development of the recommendations on these topics entailed discussions among the Consensus Panel experts, literature reviews, and an extensive external review process by other experts in the field, as well as by clinicians in practice.
Although not official College policy, drafts were presented for comment and approval by the Ethics and Human Rights Committee, as well as for comments by the Education Committee, the Board of Governors, and the Board of Regents. The papers were published in leading medical journals.
Patient Education Work Group
In conjunction with the Consensus Panel project, the College convened a second group of experts to develop patient education materials and web content on end-of-life care to serve as companion pieces to the Consensus Panel papers.
ACP's End-of-Life Care PEACE Series patient education brochures are available in print or to view online.
More End-of-Life Care Resources
ACP has a number of resources available for physicians and patients on refusal of life-sustaining treatment, advance care planning, and other end-of-life care issues. The Ethics Manual, as well as other EOLC consensus papers and patient education brochures provide guidance and support.