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Although technological advancements have provided the means to sustain life and provide care regardless of whether the treatment is appropriate and compassionate given the condition of the patient, bioethical, legal, and moral concerns related to disparities in care still arise in the United States. These concerns call into question the necessity to continue life-sustaining or palliative care treatments when patients and/or families are faced with end-of-life decisions. This study will focus on various historical, clinical cultural, and ethical issues that have placed this dilemma into a controversial public spectrum, by using case studies retrieved from referenced literature, which illustrate disparities in care at the end of life.


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Coustasse, A., Quiroz, T., & Lurie, S. G. (2008). To the bitter end: Disparities in end-of-life care. Journal of Hospital Marketing & Public Relations, 18(2), 167-185, as published in the JOURNAL OF HOSPITAL MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS, 2008, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: