Steinhauser et al identified issues that are considered important when a person is at the end of life. These factors may be ranked differently by patient, family members, health care providers and other people involved as to their importance. The authors are from Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University, and the University of Chicago.


Issues with regard to health care:

(1) freedom from pain

(2) being mentally aware

(3) desires for care have been followed

(4) dying at home


Issues related to feelings:

(1) feeling at peace with God (or the World)

(2) feeling that the person's life has been meaningful


Issues related to family and relationships:

(1) dying in the presence of family members

(2) economic affairs are in order

(3) conflicts resolved prior to death


Some issues like being mentally aware and being free from pain need to be balanced.


Some issues like dying at home may be less important than other issues.


Attention to spiritual needs is usually very much appreciated by the patient and family.


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