HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Better Regulation of End Of Life Care: A Call for a Holistic Approach

Ben White (Queensland University of Technology), Lindy Willmott (Queensland University of Technology), Eliana Close (Queensland University of Technology), Better Regulation of End Of Life Care: A Call for a Holistic Approach, Bioethical Inquiry (2022):

Existing regulation of end-of-life care is flawed. Problems include poorly-designed laws, policies, ethical codes, training, and funding programs, which often are neither effective nor helpful in guiding decision-making. This leads to adverse outcomes for patients, families, health professionals, and the health system as a whole. A key factor contributing to the harms of current regulation is a siloed approach to regulating end-of-life care. Existing approaches to regulation, and research into how that regulation could be improved, have tended to focus on a single regulatory instrument (e.g., just law or just ethical codes). As a result, there has been a failure to capture holistically the various forces that guide end-of-life care. This article proposes a response to address this, identifying “regulatory space” theory as a candidate to provide the much-needed holistic insight into improving regulation of end-of-life care. The article concludes with practical implications of this approach for regulators and researchers.

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