In the United States, patients and physicians often avoid discussing the inevitability of death and planning for it. As a result, opportunities are missed to make choices that comport with patients’ values and preferences. In the absence of such decisions, the default model is to “err on the side of life,” which often results in overtreatment or inappropriate prolongation of life and avoidable suffering. This Article discusses the United States' end-of-life training and care and Britain’s Liverpool Care Pathway as related to end-of-life care availability, quality, and cost. It further sets forth the argument that while the United States' medical community and other interested groups have begun serious work into methods to improve the quality of communication and care at the end of life, they are a long way from understanding how best to bridge the gap between theory and practice across a vast and diffuse health care system.
Barbara A. Noah, A Better Death in Britain?, 40 BROOK. J. INT'L L. 870 (2015).