NC Partnership for Compassionate Care Launched

Ever since the wrenching 1975-85 Karen Ann Quinlin case propelled End-of-Life issues to the public consciousness, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has been actively engaged in efforts to ensure that patients’ wishes about medical treatment at the end of life are discussed, documented and honored.  From the development of the North Carolina Right to a Natural Death Act, which produced the living will, to the adoption of the Health Care Power of Attorney statute and the creation and design of the Portable Do Not Resuscitate and the MOST forms, the NCMS has been instrumental in these efforts.

At its last meeting, the NCMS Foundation Board of Trustees further solidified that leadership role by unanimously approving, as a program of the NCMS Foundation, the North Carolina Partnership for Compassionate Care (NCPCC).  The mission of the NCPCC is to provide statewide initiatives for the community, professionals and health care systems to ensure that patients’ end-of-life treatment choices are openly discussed, documented and honored.

The NCPCC was born with the leadership of the NCMS, Community Care of North Carolina, the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, and individuals who deal with the dying every day.  While there seems to be widespread acceptance that addressing end of life issues is extremely important, because it can be such a controversial topic, no one has made it a permanent priority.

The NCPCC is designed to change that. Rather than having underfunded, disparate initiatives cropping up around the state to deal with the need for better communication and documentation of end-of-life wishes, a statewide initiative was forged that could provide resources across North Carolina and lend support and consistency of message to local efforts.

Together, this group of dedicated individuals has brought together more than 20 major health care and consumer organizations to help shape and support this initiative. See the list of participants here.  Michael Norins, MD, Chair of the NCMS Ethical and Judicial Affairs Committee, serves as the Chair for this initiative, and everyone on the Executive Committee is either a member of, consultant to, or staff to the NCMS Ethical and Judicial Affairs Committee, which over the years has been the source of the NCMS’ numerous end-of-life efforts.

For more information about the NCPCC, click here.  To find out more about this initiative, contact Melanie Phelps, NCMS Foundation Associate Executive Director and Deputy General Counsel, or Varsha Gadani, NCMS Assistant Counsel.


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