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E. Why End-of-Life Care is Crucial in Decision-Making

Narrator: This is Science Today. Contemplating potential end-of-life decisions is difficult, especially for young, healthy people. According to Felicia Cohn, the director of medical ethics at the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine, it's important that we discuss our wishes with loved ones, so that they know how to proceed should they ever need to make medical decisions for us.

Cohn: I get a lot of people who tell me they just can't have that kind of conversation with their family. How can you bring it up over dinner? Most of us don't want to think about the ends of our lives until we are actually staring it in the face.

Narrator: But Cohn says most of us cannot anticipate the specific types of medical situations we may be faced with.

Cohn: It's really important to think about in advance so that your loved ones know what kinds of things you would be interested in, and so that you yourself have a sense yourself, because it's a lot harder to have that conversation when you're sitting in the waiting room of a hospital while your loved one's lying in a hospital bed.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.