Article Abstract

Challenges and ethical issues in the course of palliative care management for people living with advanced neurologic diseases

Authors: Varun Sreenivasan, Christa O’Hana S. Nobleza


In the recent years, there has been an increase in awareness with regards to the role of palliative care (PC) in management of neurologic diseases. In 1996, the need to incorporate PC in the care for patients with neurologic conditions was recognized by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Ethics and Humanities Subcommittee. The gaps in research, education and the ability to deliver adequate PC were then acknowledged by the National Academy of Sciences with their publication of “Approaching death: improving care at the end of life” and most recently, continued goals in improving PC was highlighted by another recent publication “Dying in America: improving quality and honoring individual preferences near the end of life”. The complexity of managing neurologic patients brings about challenges and ethical issues in this setting. The aim of this review is to discuss and summarize the challenges and ethical issues in the context of PC management of patients with advanced acute, rapidly progressive, slowly-progressive or degenerative neurological conditions that are commonly encountered in practice.