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We must earn confidence in end-of-life comfort care

We live and practice in challenging times. Thanks to advances in public health and treatments for hitherto swiftly fatal conditions, people in developed countries are living longer than ever before. However, during those extra years, people commonly accumulate multiple chronic medical conditions along with the need for expert health care and supportive services.

Fundamental social and clinical ethics, and basic human values, suggest that seriously ill people deserve reliably skillful, coordinated care to optimize their comfort and quality of life, as well as support for their families. By this benchmark, we are failing. Dying in America remains a public health crisis.

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