Half a million chat about end-of-life plans on Medicare’s dime, and why that’s a good thing

The 90-year-old woman in the San Diego-area nursing home was quite clear. She didn’t want aggressive measures to prolong her life. If her heart stopped, she didn’t want CPR.

But when Steinberg, a palliative care physician, relayed those wishes to the woman’s daughter, the younger woman would have none of it.

“She said, ‘I don’t agree with that. My mom is confused,’” Steinberg recalled. “I said, ‘Let’s talk about it.’”