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End-of-life talks lacking between doctors, patients

Reuters, April 2, 2013
Many elderly people prefer to die at home instead of in the hospital - but that's not always the way it works out, researchers said. Dr. Daren Heyland from Kingston General Hospital in Ontario said a lack of discussion about patients' wishes is often what leads to very aggressive care at the end of life, followed by stress and regret from family members. "These are 80-year-old patients who are frail, sick, in hospitals, and so they've obviously considered their end-of-life situation," Heyland, who led the new study, told Reuters Health. "The real problem is the failure of the health care team to engage them."