The American Society of Clinical Oncology Program to Improve End-of-Life Care

Thomas J. Smith, Lowell J. Schnipper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Too few cancer patients have optimal care at the end of life, as measured by unrelieved pain, death in a setting other than home, and uncoordinated care. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), as the largest professional society whose members care for most cancer patients in the United States, has begun an initiative to improve end-of-life care. Educational programs for ASCO members have been started at the national level. A Task Force on End of Life Care was created to study the current state of end-of-life care, barriers to improved end-of-life care, and what ASCO can do to improve end-of-life care. A member-wide survey has been completed to assess, from the professional's perspective, the current state of and barriers to end-of-life care. Specific sections of the Task Force will address hospice care, physician- assisted suicide, clinical barriers, economic barriers, research initiatives, educational deficiencies, and quality of care at the end of life. Improvements in end-of-life care can be made if the current deficiencies are noted, barriers ascertained, and specific solutions found. Professional societies have both the interest and responsibility to improve end-of-life care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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