Better Regulation of End‑Of‑Life Care: A Call for a Holistic Approach

Bioethical Inquiry 2022

11 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2022

See all articles by Ben White

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Eliana Close

Queensland University of Technology

Date Written: October 17, 2022

Abstract

Existing regulation of end-of-life care is flawed. Problems include poorly-designed laws, policies, ethical codes, training, and funding programs, which often are neither effective nor helpful in guiding decision-making. This leads to adverse outcomes for patients, families, health professionals, and the health system as a whole. A key factor contributing to the harms of current regulation is a siloed approach to regulating end-of-life care. Existing approaches to regulation, and research into how that regulation could be improved, have tended to focus on a single regulatory instrument (e.g., just law or just ethical codes). As a result, there has been a failure to capture holistically the various forces that guide end-of-life care. This article proposes a response to address this, identifying “regulatory space” theory as a candidate to provide the much-needed holistic insight into improving regulation of end-of-life care. The article concludes with practical implications of this approach for regulators and researchers.

Note:
Funding Information: Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions. Ben White discloses that he is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (project number FT190100410: Enhancing End-of-Life Decision-Making: Optimal Regulation of Voluntary Assisted Dying) funded by the Australian Government. Eliana Close’s postdoctoral research appointment is also funded by this grant. The study funder had no role in writing up the research.

Conflict of Interests: None.

Keywords: end-of-life care, medical legislation, government regulation, ethical issues, health law

JEL Classification: I, I1, I19

Suggested Citation

White, Ben and Willmott, Lindy and Close, Eliana, Better Regulation of End‑Of‑Life Care: A Call for a Holistic Approach (October 17, 2022). Bioethical Inquiry 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4260673

Ben White (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/whiteb/

Lindy Willmott

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/willmott/

Eliana Close

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

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