In this article, Dr. Cantor examines the state of palliative care in the United States. Most Americans have not given much thought to either how they will die or the kinds of services they will need while coping with fatal chronic illnesses. Dr. Cantor first points out trends in death and dying, and then discusses the three most common trajectories Americans face when dying. Next, the article addresses the financial and nonfinancial barriers individuals face in obtaining quality end-of-life care. Finally, Dr. Cantor concludes with a vision of what palliative care should be like and suggests steps individuals can take to implement that vision.
The full text of this Symposium is available to download as a PDF.