End of Life
Download the Ethical
The State Advisory Council on Quality Care at the End of Life was created in December 2002 (Chapter 265, Acts of 2002).
Health-General Article §§13601 through 13-1604. The Council studies the impact of State statutes, regulations, and public policies on the providing of care to the dying. The Council monitors trends in the provision of care to patients with fatal illnesses and participates in public and professional educational efforts concerning the care of the dying. The Council also advises the General Assembly, Office of Attorney General, Department of Aging, and the Department of Health on matters related to the provision of care at the end of life.
Council Member Biographies
The Council has written a letter inviting persons to participate in National Healthcare Decisions Day by encouraging people to prepare advance directives. The letter can be found
here and contains useful information regarding advance directives.
On December 1, 2020, the Council submitted a report to the General Assembly titled “State Policy Recommendations to Increase Electronic Advance Directive Registrations." This report contains the Council's recommendations for increasing the use of advance directives, including electronic advance directives. As stated in the report, the Council recommends (1) requiring, encouraging, or incentivizing insurance companies to offer digital advance care planning as a covered benefit; (2) embedding advance care planning into health system workflows with a particular sensitivity to underserved communities; (3) making it easier to complete, upload, and retrieve electronic advance directives; (4) encouraging persons to complete advance directives through supporting existing public awareness campaigns and promoting National Healthcare Decisions Day in Maryland; and (5) giving the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) the authority to direct advance care planning policies amongst all stakeholder groups, including the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), payers, providers, and citizens. The report can be accessed here.
Health Decisions Policy
Health Decisions Policy page you will find helpful information regarding advance directives; legal issues and advice regarding health care decisions at the end of life; and educational guides for patients, providers, health care agents, and surrogate decision makers. You will also find a workgroup report on hospice and palliative care and end-of-life counseling, a wallet card to inform health care providers of the existence of an advance directive, studies, and other useful links to websites containing information relevant to care at the end of life.
The decision-making process that leads to excellent care should not be a lucky happenstance. Instead, its component steps should be identified, reflected in pertinent policies, and carried out routinely. To assist health care facilities with this important work, and after extensive consultation, the State Advisory Council on Quality Care at the End of Life has issued an Ethical Framework for decision making entitled “Key Steps in Making and Implementing Health Care Decisions.” The
Ethical Framework, principally written by Dr. Steven Levenson and endorsed unanimously by the Council, identifies the steps for not only complying with the Health Care Decisions Act but also giving practical meaning to the ethical principles that underlie the Act. The Advisory Council and the Office of the Attorney General urge all health care facilities and programs to integrate the Ethical Framework (adapted as appropriate to the particular setting) into their staff training, policy documents, and routine clinical practice.
Reports and Correspondence Archive
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300 / En español 410-230-1712 / 1-888-743-0023 toll-free / TTY: Dial 7-1-1 or 800-735-2258