By Dr. Brian McDonough

We spend about a third of our medical costs in the last days of a person’s life. In many cases this is needed. For instance, potential life-saving procedures don’t always work and major surgeries can be extremely complicated and risky in the very sick or elderly population. But there are times when money is spent because doctors feel compelled to do all they can or when family members of those gravely ill ask for everything to be done.

This is where hospice can help. When a person is given a diagnosis that they have a condition that has a very high mortality rate, they can discuss all options in advance including what they want done and what they don’t.

These decisions can be made early enough to prevent many of the last ditch attempts that not only cost a great deal of money but can lead to unwanted pain or further suffering.

Reported By: Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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