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Barbara Dreyfuss died March 1 after contracting COVID-19 at a Seattle-area nursing home. Her earlier decision to document her final wishes may offer an example for families as the deadly virus spurs interest in end-of-life care.
Families worry that overwhelmed hospitals won’t be able to provide palliative care for loved ones stricken with COVID-19.
As the novel coronavirus marches across the country, it is upending how families and funeral homes honor the dead — and, ultimately, put them to rest.
Neil Mahoney had terminal cancer. He also had a legal right to aid-in-dying. But his faith-based hospital called it “morally unacceptable.” So he turned to a network of Colorado doctors to fulfill his last wish.
Fewer Americans are dying in a hospital, under the close supervision of doctors and nurses. That trend has been boosted by an expanded Medicare benefit that helps people live out their final days at home in hospice care. But as home hospice grows, so has the burden on families left to provide much of the care.
Across the U.S., people with early dementia are signing new advance directives to confirm their end-of-life wishes while they still have the ability to do so. But doctors say the documents may offer a false sense of security.
In this Colorado case, the right to aid a cancer patient’s death runs up against faith-based hospital policies. As more states have passed laws, about 1 in 6 acute care beds nationally is in a hospital that is Catholic-owned or -affiliated.
Kathy Brandt and her wife, Kim Acquaviva, national experts in hospice and palliative care, shared intimate details of Brandt’s experience with terminal cancer before her death Sunday.
Running counter to the efforts of suicide prevention experts and many religious and social norms, some seniors are quietly exploring the option of turning to suicide when they feel they’ve lived long enough.
It’s never easy to tell a patient about a terminal illness, but a longtime doctor whose own diagnosis was botched says physicians must do better.