WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

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Making Better End-Of-Life Care Decisions

Most Americans say they want to die at home, but 75 percent die in hospitals or nursing homes. Hospitalization often means aggressive, high-cost treatment at the expense of quality of life. And life-prolonging care accounts for 30 percent of total Medicare spending. Now, two Harvard doctors are making movies that visually depict common forms of end-of life care in hospitals. The short films show real patients receiving treatment such as emergency CPR and feeding tubes. Clinical studies show that patients who view these movies overwhelmingly opt out of costly, life-prolonging treatment. Diane and her guests discuss how to make better end-of-life decisions.

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