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One million reasons to reimagine end-of-life care

he magnitude of loss from Covid-19 — 1 million-plus deaths, many millions more grieving loved ones who have died, the country’s social fabric in tatters — is incomprehensible.

Life expectancy in the U.S. has fallen by two years since the beginning of the pandemic. This is the largest decline in almost a century, driven mainly by deaths among people under age 60. Many of these can be classified as “bad deaths.”

As a physician who advocates for better end-of-life experiences, I wonder how the pandemic has changed our relationship with death. Has proximity to so much sickness and death made us more willing to engage in hard conversations about dying, to think about how we can make the experience less hard? Or are we more afraid than ever before?

One million reasons to reimagine end-of-life care - STAT (

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