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  • Guidelines on Ethical Care of Patients With Terminal Illness Updated

    As physical therapists and other health care providers know all too well, people with terminal illnesses and their caregivers often are confused and conflicted over how to make good decisions, which affects their quality of life, health care costs, and family stress levels. The Hastings Center has updated and expanded its landmark 1987 consensus guidelines for ethical care of terminally ill patients, incorporating innovations and research over the past 26 years.

    New or revised topics in the updated edition include issues specific to patients with disabilities; decision-making for and about children near the end of life; recent evidence regarding brain injuries and neurological states; palliative sedation; and the role cost plays as an ethical issue in health care decision-making.

    Health and Human Services Releases New CLAS Standards

    Health and Human Services (HHS) released National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health Care, which includes 15 standards developed by its Office of Minority Health to expand health equity, improve quality, and address health care disparities in diverse and minority communities. The standards help organizations tailor culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services to an individual's culture and language preferences to improve health care outcomes.

    HHS federal and nonfederal partners provided input to create the new standards, which are an enhanced version of the 2000 National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Standards.

    Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the HHS Office of Minority Health J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, said, "As our nation becomes increasingly diverse, improving cultural and linguistic competency across public health and our health care system can be one of our most powerful levers for advancing health equity."

    You can view a map of states that have proposed or passed CLAS legislation here.