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

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Abstract

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.

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