KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study: Racial Disparities In End-Of-Life Care

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that black patients and white patients may not receive the same quality in end-of-life care.

"Although all study participants were helped by conversations with their physicians, black patients' requests were not always taken into consideration," Los Angeles Times reports. "Researchers asked 332 black and white patients with advanced cancer questions about their goals for end of life care, and whether they talked about these goals with their doctors. About 35% of black patients and about 38% of white patients said they had end of life discussions, but black patients were less aware than white patients of the fact that they were terminally ill. … Having do-not-resuscitate instructions didn't decrease the possibility that they'd get life-extending care, nor did it increase the chance they'd get the end of life treatments they requested" (Stein, 9/28).

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