A Step Toward Normalizing End-of-Life Care: Implications of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA)
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Despite their rapid development in recent decades, hospice and palliative care continue to face challenges to universal acceptance and access throughout American society, as the American population and medical professions are reluctant to move away from traditional preventative care throughout the death and dying process. The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) is a federal bill seeking to increase access to palliative and hospice care. This Note analyzes the history of the palliative and hospice care movement and the implications of the PCHETA, arguing that the bill acts as an important step toward normalizing hospice and palliative care among the seriously and terminally ill population in the United States. Specifically, this Note argues that the PCHETA would sufficiently promote an increased workforce among hospice and palliative care professionals and recommends ways that the PCHETA could more sufficiently address the problems of low utilization of hospice care among racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, and the lack of education among health care professionals in end-of-life care and communication.