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Cost of Dying: Discovering a Better Way for Final Days

Posted on 01/04/2013

The San Jose Mercury News: “Everyone says they don’t want to die in a hospital, with tubes in every orifice,” said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo. She saw the two paths of medicine when her parents died. She lost her 92-year-old mother after an angioplasty meant to improve her life instead led to intensive care and nine months of decline. Her father, in contrast, died after five days in hospice, his pain controlled.

If we want to improve end-of-life care, “there are ways to do it — but we have to commit to it,” she said.

Some of the solutions can start at home tonight, at the dinner table. Others are more formidable, requiring doctors, hospitals and federal health policy to change.

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