Thursday, January 21, 2016

Unequal Lives, Unequal Deaths

By Sunita Puri

In my first year of practice in palliative medicine, I made house calls to patients in South Los Angeles. In these neighborhoods, people die an average of 10 years earlier than those who live less than 10 miles away. Death may be humanity’s great equalizer, but the inequalities suffered in life – leading to a shorter life expectancy – become inequalities in the experience of dying as well. [link]

Votive candles for sale in South Gate, Los Angeles.Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Sunita Puri, an attending physician in palliative medicine at Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California & Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, is at work on a collection of essays about end-of-life care. All names in this essay are pseudonyms to protect patient privacy.