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A Piece of My Mind
December 8, 2010

A Perfect Place to Die, Revisited

JAMA. 2010;304(22):2452-2453. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1766

Most patients would prefer to die at home. I’ve long accepted that statement as an axiom, swallowing it whole. I’ve believed that patients would rather die in their own beds, under soft lighting, circled by family and friends, in tender quiet and in peace. Why would any terminally ill person choose otherwise?

As a researcher—one who has studied family caregiving, no less—I should have held a more nuanced view. But first I had my formal education on aging and death, and now, as they say, I’ve been schooled.

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