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Health Journalism 2011: End-of-life planning a 'fertile area' for storytellers

People are eager to have honest discussions about end-of-life alternatives.

But in many ways, such conversations have been "engineered" out of today's health care system, said speakers at Health Journalism 2011 in Philadelphia, meaning that patients and families need to engage in such discussions before an acute illness occurs.

Speakers pointed out that journalists and health professionals can assist by informing people about the burden of suffering that comes with some treatments and helping them understand the alternatives.

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