Giving Compass' Take:
- WaunShae Blount explains that there is a persistent disparity in end-of-life care for Black Americans.
- What role can you play in closing the end-of-life care gap? How can end-of-life care be improved overall?
- Read about reimagining end-of-life care.
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Black Americans pursue more intensive treatments than white Americans in the last six months of life, researchers report.
White people are also more likely to use hospice care, according to the new study.
The intensive treatments Black patients are more likely to seek include mechanical ventilation, gastronomy tube insertion, hemodialysis, CPR, and multiple emergency room visits.
The researchers say the finding demonstrates the extent of different choices that are made in seeking end-of-life care despite an overall increase nationwide in the US toward the use of hospice care regardless of diagnosis, especially in non-cancer deaths.
“What’s unique about our study is that we show this disparity is persistent—not decreasing over time—and appears to be fairly general because it is not specific to a few diseases such as cancer,” says David L. Roth, director of the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health (COAH) and a coauthor of the study.
These persistent disparities may impact the quality of end-of-life experiences differently for Black and white Americans and underline the importance of advance care planning and advance directives—things that other studies have shown are less likely to be in place for Black Americans.
Read the full article about racial disparities in end-of-life care by WaunShae Blount at Futurity.