At the end of life, talk helps bridge a racial divide
While race should not be relevant at this moment, research tells us otherwise. Blacks are much more likely than whites to elect aggressive care and to decline do-not-resuscitate orders. DNR election of even 30 percent is rare in any black community, and hospice enrollment is likewise low. African-Americans have reasons to prefer aggressive medical management. A tradition of shared decision-making in extended black families and high rates of Christian religious affiliation appear to favor it. But more important, surely, is the lingering and pernicious effect of race-related disparity in health and healthcare.
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