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Commentary |

Palliative and End-of-Life Care in the African American Community

LaVera Crawley, MD; Richard Payne, MD; James Bolden, MPA; Terrie Payne, MA; Patricia Washington, DSN; September Williams, MD; for the Initiative to Improve Palliative and End-of-Life Care in the African American Community
JAMA. 2000;284(19):2518-2521. doi:10.1001/jama.284.19.2518.
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African Americans and other minorities underuse palliative and hospice care, even when they have access to this care. Statistics from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization indicate that African Americans represent 8% of patients who participate in hospice care, as compared with 83% whites.1 Explanations for the underutilization of palliative care and hospice services by African Americans has engendered much speculation, but few data have been collected to further the understanding of this important problem. To provide the basis for solutions to correct this current state of affairs, reliable data and a broader societal dialogue are needed.

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