End-of-life Options

Published in: Health Affairs, v. 24, no. 5, Letters, Sep./Oct. 2005, p. 1377-1378

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Joanne Lynn

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At the end of life, most face frailty and dementia, with slowly ebbing capabilities. The author comments on end of life options and notes that health care does not anticipate this or support patients and families when someone is sick enough to die. Financing reforms could encourage comprehensive care and allow families to plan for personal and financial burdens; research and innovation could ensure patient comfort and caregiver support. Society is learning to make progressive disability a part of life. The health care industry needs to reshape services to match the priorities and possibilities for end of life situations.

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