"The patient will continue getting treatment despite potentially horrific side effects that interfere with her quality of life, and the oncologist continues to administer the chemotherapy, not wanting the patient to feel that he/she is giving up on her," said Lillie Shockney, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore.
"Doctors need to be educated that we have many other treatments besides chemotherapy," said Morrison. "Accompanying patients through a difficult illness, not abandoning them, and being there to listen to them is as important, if not more so, than prescribing one particular medication."
Research has shown that end-of-life care can actually help prolong life.
"It is an unfortunate myth that keeps being perpetuated that opting for palliative care shortens life," said Morrison. "When patients are comfortable, when the stress of pain is relieved, when their depression is treated, and their loved ones are supported, they actually live longer."
In her remaining days, Edwards likely benefitted from the outpouring of support from the public as well as from having her loved ones around her.
"The dying process is different for every patient, but no one should have to die alone," said Ellis.
Ellis also said Edwards' family and friends probably took tremendous comfort in being with her at the end of her life.
"There is such a thing as a peaceful death, and the patient can reach closure with her loved ones."
ABC News' Emily Friedman, Jessica Hopper, Leezel Tanglao and Claire Shipman contributed to this report.