As life draws to an end, compassion is more important than food. Kacso Sandor/iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption Kacso Sandor/iStockphoto

Christy O'Donnell, who has advanced lung cancer, is one of several California patients suing for the right to get a doctor's help with prescription medicine to end their own lives if and when they feel that's necessary. YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

For best quality of life, many cancer patients who can't be cured might do best to forgo chemo and focus instead on pain relief and easing sleep and mood problems, a survey of caregivers suggests. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption iStockphoto

Cover art from Stoned. Current hide caption

toggle caption Current

In the movie The Fault in Our Stars, having terminal cancer doesn't look so bad for Hazel, played by Shailene Woodley, and Gus, played by Ansel Elgort. James Bridges/Temple Hill Entertainment/Kobal Collection hide caption

toggle caption James Bridges/Temple Hill Entertainment/Kobal Collection

Hawaii ranks 49th in the nation for use of home health care services during the last six months of someone's life. Videos from ACP Decisions show patients what their options are at the end of life. ACP Decisions hide caption

toggle caption ACP Decisions

Palliative medicine physician Michael Fratkin gets off a plane after visiting a patient on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. He's recently launched a startup to support this kind of work. April Dembosky/KQED hide caption

toggle caption April Dembosky/KQED

Paula and Ron Faber walk their dog Millie in 2009, between cancer diagnoses. Shelley Seccombe/Shelley Seccombe hide caption

toggle caption Shelley Seccombe/Shelley Seccombe

Shots - Health News

Terminally Ill, But Constantly Hospitalized

WNYC Radio

Surveys show Americans would prefer not to die in a hospital. Yet, in New York City, the majority of people do. But the reason is not simple.

Listen Loading… 6:07
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Patients who get the comforts of palliative care as well as disease treatment live longer, studies show, than those who only get treatment for the disease. Annette Birkenfeld/iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption Annette Birkenfeld/iStockphoto

Dr. Tim Ihrig, a palliative care physician, treats Augie Avelleyra, 93, at his home in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Courtesy of Paula Avelleyra hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Paula Avelleyra

Smith talks with Dawn Dillard, 57, about a medical procedure at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. Dillard has uterine cancer. Annie Feidt/APRN hide caption

toggle caption Annie Feidt/APRN

Dr. Martha Twaddle talks to a patient and strokes her hair during a visit at the Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter in Skokie, Ill., in 2012. Antonia Perez/MCT /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Antonia Perez/MCT /Landov

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor