CHICAGO (AP) - A new study suggests offering end-of-life
counseling to dying patients improves their mood and quality of
life.

The survey of more than 300 terminal cancer patients found that
those who got end-of-life counseling score higher on quality of
life and mood scales. The study will be published in tomorrow's
Journal of the American Medical Association.

A provision to pay for such counseling in a version of the
health care bill spawned "death panel" accusations. Some
conservatives call it a step toward euthanasia, a charge President
Barack Obama calls "simply dishonest."

The lead author of the study says patients often thank the
nurses who help them. Marie Bakitas says, "They seem to feel a
whole lot better knowing there's someone who's looking at the rest
of them and not just the tumor."


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