Description: In the face of evolving medical, ethical, and legal landscapes, the Hastings Center has revised and expanded its guidelines for end-of-life decision-making.
Purpose: This edition integrates and accounts for the 25 years of research, medical advances, and legal developments that have occurred since the first edition of 1987. Just as with that book, this second edition will surely prove to be a widely referenced and influential resource for healthcare providers confronting the multitude of issues in end-of-life care.
Audience: Written for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, the book accomplishes its goals of providing in-depth ethical guidance for decision-making and improving care at the end of life. This edition not only focuses on patients' interests, but also expands its ethical lens to the wider community of families and loved ones.
Features: While the first edition focused on articulating, arguably for the first time, the rights of patients and the corresponding responsibility of caregivers, the second edition works to contextualize these rights and duties in the lived experience of patients, families, and the healthcare team. This edition takes the original framework and builds upon it by addressing end-of-life issues not only in regard to a patient's condition, but also in light of their lived experience. In addition to expanding on and updating the guidelines for making ethical decisions in the end-of -life context, the second edition provides a framework for guidance on pediatric decision-making that was not addressed in the first edition. The new material on pediatrics includes important clarifications and distinctions between adult, adolescent, and infant end-of-life care.
Assessment: This second edition proves to be a comprehensive and accessible resource for healthcare practitioners that is relevant in the context of the constantly evolving field of medicine.