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

itoggle caption Emily Siner/Nashville Public Radio

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

itoggle caption Barbara Mancini via Compassion & Choices

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

itoggle caption iStockphoto

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

itoggle caption Antonia Perez/MCT /Landov

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

itoggle caption J. Pat Carter/AP