“Americans don’t understand death. We cannot accept that death will come, and thus we cannot make a plan, talk reasonably about it, work our way to understanding, to the basic part of our humanity. This attitude – a combination of perpetual optimism, refusing the dark, and not living in reality – is unfair to patients, doctors, and insurance companies.”
– From How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick In America by Otis Webb Brawley, MD, with Paul Goldberg
A staggering statistic presented in this book just before the above quote states that 24% of Medicare spending & 15% of all health spending occurs during a patient’s last year of life. Unfortunately, much of this spending is done with little hope of benefiting the patient.