The public overwhelmingly thinks doctors should have end-of-life conversations with older patients. It even thinks Medicare ought to pay for those talks. It just doesn’t want to have them, at least not yet.
Those are results of a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, which found that 89 percent of respondents felt physicians should discuss end-of-life choices with them. But only 17 percent of all those surveyed, and about one-in-four older adults, said they have talked about death and dying with their doctors. The better news: About one-in-three people who have a debilitating disease have had “the conversation” (to borrow the title of Angelo Volandes book).