CoastLine: Everybody Dies; How Ageism Shuts Down End-of-Life Dialogues

May 18, 2017

More than 90 percent of people think it is important to talk about end-of-life care.  Fewer than 30 percent actually do it.  That’s according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a Massachusetts-based independent nonprofit.

The Boston Globe reports that the four medical schools in Massachusetts have jointly agreed to teach students and residents how to talk with patients about what they want from life, so future doctors will know how far to go in keeping gravely ill patients alive.   And at least one of our guests on this edition of CoastLine contends that ageism is one of the major drivers behind the avoidance of end-of-life conversations. 

On CoastLine, we explore what role ageism plays in that conversation – and in our larger culture.  We also learn about the difference between palliative care and end-of-life care.


Anne Glass is a Professor in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington.  She’s also the Coordinator of UNCW’s Gerontology program.

David Free is the Director of Lower Cape Fear Hospice’s Palliative Care Services.


Begin the Conversation:

MIND Diet: