Beyond 'justice vs care': Can the ethic of care coordinate with the ethic of justice to support palliative care?

Susan Helen Drongowski, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


For the past 20 years, there has been a growing awareness and acceptance of the palliative care concepts of Hospice. Hospice and the concept of palliative care represent a dramatic shift from the traditional medical model of physician-directed, institutional-centered health care; What are the guiding principles of palliative care and what are their ethical underpinnings? The ethical principles of autonomy, justice and care will be explored, as well as the possibility for the abuse of palliative care under the current climate of healthcare reform; Recommendations will be made pertaining to reform of the healthcare system, the education of healthcare professionals and safeguards against using palliative care for the sole purpose of cost-savings. Finally, there will be discussion about the benefits and burdens that might surface as a result of viewing the provision of palliative care from a combined perspective of justice and care.