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The Hastings Center Guidelines for Decisions on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life

Revised and Expanded Second Edition

By Nancy Berlinger, Bruce Jennings, Susan M. Wolf
(Oxford University Press, 2013)

This major new work updates and significantly expands The Hastings Center’s 1987 Guidelines on the Termination of Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care of the Dying. Like its predecessor, this second edition will shape the ethical and legal framework for decision-making on treatment and end-of-life care in the United States.

This groundbreaking work incorporates 25 years of research and innovation in clinical care, law, and policy. It is written for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals and is structured for easy reference in difficult clinical situations. It supports the work of clinical ethicists, ethics committee members, health lawyers, clinical educators, scholars, and policymakers. It includes extensive practical recommendations.

Health care reform places a new set of challenges on decision-making and care near the end of life. The Hastings Center Guidelines are an essential resource.

  • Clarifies the current ethical and legal framework for treatment decision-making and end-of-life care in the U.S.
  • Structured for ease of reference
  • Provides comprehensive guidelines and commentary on pediatric and adult decision-making, with step-by-step processes and clear explanations
  • Offers recommendations and models for effective communication in care planning, decision-making, care transitions, and conflict management, as well as concerning specific interventions
  • Promotes clinician education and systemic improvements by describing the goals of good care for seriously ill patients and the skills, knowledge, and systems needed to support good care
  • Describes the social context of decision-making, helping professionals to understand how choices may be shaped by family, religion and culture, care settings, law, and financing
  • Includes unique perspectives from disability communities to promote better understanding of the experience of disability as a factor in treatment decision-making
  • Includes a discussion guide on resource allocation and the cost of care
  • Includes selected bibliography of more than 500 print and online resources

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