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Does a booming aging population in the US combined with an endless array of medical treatments place too much stress on our healthcare budget and on older patients?

When asked, most Americans say they would prefer to die at home, yet the majority of us die in hospitals and other institutions, often in pain. It would seem logical that the more healthcare a patient gets, the better that patient’s care would be, but for people nearing the end of their lives, this is not always the case. Aggressive medical care at the end of life accounts for one third of all Medicare spending, yet such spending and extensive treatment can too easily decrease a patient’s quality of life during this period, and thus, their quality of death.

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