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Doctors vary on willingness to talk about hospice

Reuters, December 17, 2013
Doctors' personal preferences may influence when they discuss end-of-life care with patients, says a new study. Researchers found doctors who said they would opt for care aimed at preventing pain and suffering at the end of their own lives were more likely to discuss that type of care with a hypothetical dying patient. "Although most patients do ultimately talk about some end-of-life topics before they die, the vast majority of these conversations happen during acute care hospital stays and at the end of life," Dr. Nancy Keating, the study's senior author, said. Keating is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston.