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May 27, 1998

Health Values of Hospitalized Elderly Patients

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(20):1611-1612. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-20-jbk0527

To the Editor.—In Euripides' play Alcestis, the elderly parents of the protagonist refuse to die in his place, insisting:

If death draws near, none wants to die, and age is no more a burden to him. You love to look upon the light of day—do you think your father hates it? I tell myself that we are a long time underground and that life is short, but sweet.1

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