Care of patients nearing death: Another view

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A person with an advanced, progressive, ultimately fatal illness faces multifaceted suffering. It is difficult to be sick. Uncontrollable deterioration of one's body can be horrible. Many people detest seeking help from others, yet nearly all want companionship in the face of death. The choice is hard, between certain death, even if it is promised to be comfortable and dignified, and hope, even if it is a burdensome treatment that offers small chance of limited benefit. Dying patients are often expected to make such painful choices. Perhaps what is most painful is to be dying. A person whose near future necessarily contains all this will often need a trusted, unhurried companion, acting with gentle advocacy and humility. This paper offers perspective and suggestions to such companions/advocates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-553
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Advance directives
  • End-of-life care
  • Ethics
  • Pain
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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