End-of-Life Decision Making: A Cross-National Study

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Overview

This examination of end-of-life decision making offers a broader perspective than that found in the extensive existing literature on this topic by offering a cross-national comparison. Experts from twelve countries analyze death-related issues and policies in their respective nations, discussing such topics as health care costs, advance directives or wills, pain management, and cultural, social, and religious factors. The countries selected for study — Brazil,China, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom,and the United States — represent a mix of East and West, developed and developing nations seldom considered together in analyses of these issues. This is the first systematic attempt to analyze end-of-life issues in many of these countries; the chapters on China, Kenya (of special significance because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa) and Turkey break new ground.Each author reports on various factors in end-of-life decisions: estimated costs of dying, including health care costs; the proportion of deaths occurring in hospitals, in hospices, and at home; the prevalence and variety of advance directives; the mix of high technology and palliative care; the cut-off point for aggressive care and the legal definition of death; government policies on end-of-life decisions,assisted suicide, and euthanasia; and cultural, social, and religious influences. The findings show that there are great differences among countries even in the way these issues are framed. Scholars,policymakers, and medical practitioners can all benefit from the extensive information in these essays on how different nations are dealing with death-related issues.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" End-of-Life Decision Making is a commendable work and a resource for identifying current data or lack thereof." Journal of the American MedicalAssociation

' End-of-Life Decision Making is a commendable work and a valuable resource for identifying current data or lack thereof.' Journal of the American MedicalAssociation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262025744
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Series: Basic Bioethics
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert H. Blank is Professor of Political Science at the University of Canterbury in NewZealand and Research Scholar at New College of Florida. His books include Brain Policy,Comparative Health Policy (with Viola Burau), and End of Life Decision-Making: ACross-National Study (coedited with Janna Merrick; MIT Press, 2005).

Janna C. Merrick is Professor in the Department of Government and International Affairs at theUniversity of South Florida.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : issues at the end of life 1
2 Ethical questions related to end-of-life decisions : the Brazilian reality 13
3 End-of-life care in China : a view from Beijing 33
4 End-of-life decision making in Germany 61
5 End-of-life decision making in India 79
6 End-of-life decision making in Israel 97
7 End-of-life care in Japan 109
8 End-of-life decision making in Kenya 131
9 End-of-life decision making in the Netherlands 147
10 End-of-life decision making in Taiwan 169
11 End-of-life decision making in Turkey 183
12 Death policy in the United Kingdom 197
13 Death and dying : the American experience 219
14 Summary : the state of end-of-life policy 243
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