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Letters | Wrestling with rising health care costs

Barrage of procedures at end of life costly in too many ways

As I read your March 4 front-page warning, “Health costs heading upward,” I thought of a neurosurgeon who operated on my beloved husband, the conductor Charles Ansbacher. She told me that if I’d panicked and called 911 rather than relying on the magnificent hospice group guiding us through his passage, he would have had no fewer than 11 more “procedures,” including another brain surgery, at the end of his 67 years.

Charles might have lived a few more weeks — a few more horrific weeks.

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As a society and as individuals, we can align our family bonds, social values, religious beliefs, and self-interest. Let’s not leave end-of-life decisions to those many doctors afraid of death, whose advice drives health care costs into the heavens.

Swanee Hunt


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