DESCRIBING DEATH IN AMERICA
What We Need to Know
June R. Lunney, Kathleen M. Foley, Thomas J. Smith, and Hellen Gelband, Editors
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
Support for this project was provided by the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease and Prevention, and the American Cancer Society. The views presented in this report are those of the National Cancer Policy Board and are not necessarily those of the funding agencies.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Describing death in America : what we need to know / Kathleen M. Foley … [et al.], editors ; National Cancer Policy Board, Institute of Medicine, and Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council.
p. ; cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 0-309-08725-2 (pbk.)
1. Terminal care—United States. 2. Cancer—Palliative treatment—United States.
[DNLM: 1. Terminal Care—United States. 2. Data Collection—United States. 3. Mortality—United States. 4. Quality Assurance, Health Care—United States. 5. Quality of Life—United States. 6. Terminally Ill—psychology—United States. WB 310 D449 2003] I. Foley, Kathleen M., 1944- II. National Cancer Policy Board (U.S.) III. National Research Council (U.S.). Division on Earth and Life Studies.
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Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
NATIONAL CANCER POLICY BOARD
Joseph Simone, M.D., Chair,
Simone Consulting, Dunwoody, GA
Ellen Stovall, Vice-Chair,
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Silver Spring, MD
Diana Petitti, M.D., Vice-Chair,
Kaiser Permanente of Southern California, Pasadena, CA
Bruce W. Stillman, Ph.D., Vice-Chair,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor
Jill Bargonetti, Ph.D.,
Hunter College, New York, NY
Tim Byers, M.D., M.P.H.,
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO
Timothy Eberlein, M.D.,
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Karen Hersey, J.D.,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Jimmie C. Holland, M.D.,
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
William Kaelin, M.D.,
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Daniel J. Kevles, Ph.D.,
Yale University, New Haven, CT
David M. Livingston, M.D.,
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
William W. McGuire, M.D.,
UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, MN
John Mendelsohn, M.D.,
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Kathleen Hardin Mooney, Ph.D.,
University of Utah College of Nursing, Salt Lake City, UT
Nancy Mueller, Sc.D.,
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Patricia Nolan, M.D.,
Rhode Island Department of Health, Providence, RI
Cecil B. Pickett, Ph.D.,
Schering Plough Institute, Kenilworth, NJ
Louise Russell, Ph.D.,
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Thomas J. Smith, M.D., F.A.C.P.,
Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Susan Weiner, Ph.D.,
The Children’s Cause, Silver Spring, MD
Robert C. Young, M.D.,
American Cancer Society and the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
BACKGROUND PAPER AUTHOR
June R. Lunney, Ph.D.,
Hellen Gelband, Study Director
Rogert C. Herdman, Director, NCPB
Nicci Dowd, Administrative Assistant
Kerry B. Kemp, Writer/Editor
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Nicholas Christakis, Harvard University
Betty Ferrell, City of Hope National Medical Center
Joanne M. Hilden, The Cleveland Clinic
Vincent Mor, Providence, Rhode Island
James A. Tulsky, VA Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
Beth Virnig, University of Minnesota
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Samuel H. Preston, University of Pennsylvania and George E. Thibault, Partners HealthCare System, Inc. Appointed by the National Research Council
and Institute of Medicine, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old Study
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Department of Health and Human Services
Defense Medical Information System
Federal Electronic Research and Review Extraction Tool
General Accounting Office
Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set
Health and Retirement Study
Institute of Medicine
Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
Longitudinal Study of Aging
Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey
Nursing Home Minimum Data Set
Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
Medical Provider Component
National Committee for Quality Assurance
Nursing Home Component
National Institutes of Health
Nationwide Inpatient Sample
National Long-Term Care Surveys
National Medical Care Expenditure Survey
National Mortality Followback Survey
Outcome and Assessment Information Set
Panel Study of Income Dynamics
Patient Treatment File
Resident Assessment Instrument
State Ambulatory Surgery Databases
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program
State Inpatient Databases
Supplement on Aging
Second Supplement on Aging