Today, Health Affairs Blog begins a new series on “End of Life and Serious Illness.”

The series focuses on the challenges facing patients both young and old in the advanced stages of illness as well as those challenges confronting their caregivers, loved ones, and health care providers. Although Health Affairs has covered this terrain for many years, the blog series will lead up to the journal’s first-ever dedicated theme issue on this topic in July 2017.

It will address some of the thorniest questions in health care:

  • How should physicians talk to their patients about death?
  • How should patients plan for care and what should the provider’s role in the process be?
  • How should we measure the quality of care for seriously ill patients?
  • Can we learn lessons from other countries?
  • What do new financial models portend for the quality of care in this difficult stage of life?

The Blog series kicks off today with an entry by Vincent Mor, our theme issue advisor who is professor of health services, policy and practice at the Brown University School of Public Health. A widely respected authority on aging, long-term care, and related topics, Mor will post additional blog posts as the series progresses.

The Blog series will feature other leading voices in the field, and we encourage you to join the conversation by submitting your own posts on any issue relating to the overall theme. All Blog posts submitted on this topic are subject to Health Affairs’ standard vetting and selection process.

We are grateful for the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for both the theme issue and this blog series.