This week online and in the August 13/27, 2012, print issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, we present articles, vignettes, and a commentary all focused on improving quality of life at the end of life. We are publishing this large group of articles because we believe that the care we provide to patients who are nearing the end of their lives is not optimal and often reduces rather than improves the quality of their remaining life. There are clear, evidence-based approaches to improving end-of-life care, including early consultation with palliative care experts, honoring the wishes of patients and their families, and not promoting risky, painful, or burdensome treatments with very little chance of benefit. We hope these articles result in improved care for patients in the last phase of life.
Grady D. Improving Quality of Care at the End of Life. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(15):1144. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3172