Sandra Lopez (left) and her dog, Coco, greet hospice nurse Heather Meyerend last fall. In the weeks before Lopez died, Meyerend stopped by weekly to check her physical health, pain levels and medications. Amy Pearl/WNYC hide caption

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

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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.

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From her cubicle at Vital Decisions in Cherry Hill, N.J., Kate Schleicher counsels people who are seriously ill. Emma Lee/WHYY hide caption

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Tammy Heinsohn (left) and Carolyn Wilson sing in the meditation room of Alive Hospice in Nashville. They're part of the Threshold Choir, which sings to the dying. Emily Siner/Nashville Public Radio hide caption

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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

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Barbara Mancini with her father, Joseph Yourshaw. Barbara Mancini via Compassion & Choices hide caption

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What seemed like a burden can become a gift. iStockphoto hide caption

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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

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Joe Takach comforts his friend Lillian Landry, as she spends her last days in the hospice wing of a hospital in Oakland Park, Fla., in 2009. J. Pat Carter/AP hide caption

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Some hospices require patients to have a caregiver at home. But for many families, that's just not an option. Guven Demir/iStockphoto hide caption

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