Describing Death in America: What We Need to Know

Describing Death in America: What We Need to Know


By (author) National Cancer Policy Board, By (author) Institute of Medicine, By (author) Division on Earth and Life Studies, By (author) National Research Council, By (author) National Academy of Sciences, Edited by June R. Lunney, Edited by Kathleen M. Foley, Edited by Thomas J. Smith, Edited by Helen Gelband

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  • Publisher: National Academies Press
  • Format: Paperback | 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 10mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 3 April 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Washington
  • ISBN 10: 0309087252
  • ISBN 13: 9780309087254

Product description

National expenditures for medical care in the months and days preceding death are enormous. But we do not know whether that money is buying good quality care or optimizing the quality of life of those dying, or whether the situation is getting better or worse over time. The information that exists "describing death" at a national level - though some of it is very informative - is fragmentary. This report recommends ways to fill the information gaps by better use of existing nationally-representative data, and through some new measures, in particular, a new, ongoing National Mortality Followback Survey. The aim is to allow us to benchmark where we are today as a society, and what goals we can set to minimize pain and suffering and maximize the quality of life of all of us who will die in the years to come.

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Author information

June R. Lunney, Kathleen M. Foley, Thomas J. Smith, and Helen Gelband, Editors, National Research Council