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The Boston Globe

Letters

Letters

Not all terminal patients are alike

Swanee Hunt’s letter extolling hospice and disparaging aggressive life-prolonging medical treatment overlooks the fact that terminal patients are not all alike (“Barrage of procedures at end of life costly in too many ways,” March 8). While some terminal patients agree that the “few more weeks” that aggressive care might provide would be “horrific,” others crave the extra time to enjoy their families, their memories, or their daydreams.

Let us not leave end-of-life decisions to hospice advocates or to cost-cutters who expect everyone to bow out gracefully and inexpensively. Let us realize that, when it comes to cost, prolonging the lives of people who want their lives prolonged should take priority over waging war, saving endangered piping plovers and their ilk, and keeping taxes low for the rich.

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