Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

When Advocacy Extends Life: Age and Diagnosis Discrimination in Patients With Serious Illness

Matey, Laurl, MSN, RN CHPN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: April 2018 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 114–117
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000408
Ethics Series

Despite education and professional preparation, age and diagnosis discrimination persists in health care. A case scenario describes discrimination that could have resulted in untimely death without advocacy and intervention by 1 informed professional. Nurses must identify their own attitudes and behaviors associated with age, diagnosis, and their role within the interprofessional team to identify when discrimination may be occurring and claim their responsibility as advocate to ethically intervene on behalf of patients and families when appropriate.

Laurl Matey, MSN, RN CHPN, is clinical services director, Hospice of Southern Maine, Scarborough.

Address correspondence to Laurl Matey, MSN, RN, CHPN, Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 US Route One, #1 Scarborough, ME 04074 (

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2018 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.