Care Near the End of Life

  • Sarah Goodlin
  • Joanne Lynn


Advances in medical science during the past half century have allowed people to survive many acute illnesses that previously would have resulted in death. Yet success is often incomplete, substituting a chronic disease rather than curing the disease. Most Americans age with one or more degenerative or disabling diseases, and many will require daily assistance toward the end of life. In many chronic disease states, it may be difficult or impossible to identify a point at which a gradually worsening patient becomes terminally ill. In the process of ongoing care, however, physicians and patients often become aware that the likely benefits of certain treatments or diagnostic tests are outweighed by the discomfort and other burdens associated with them and that an overall palliative approach has become preferable. For some patients, no treatment offers hope for prolongation of life or restoration of function, but palliation of symptoms and maintenance of function are virtually always important.


Nursing Home Narcotic Analgesic Morphine Sulfate Assisted Suicide Special Care Unit 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Goodlin
  • Joanne Lynn

There are no affiliations available

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