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Survey Reveals Californians Have A Tough Time Talking About End Of Life

Aired 2/14/12 on KPBS News.

A new survey shows most Californians haven't talked with a loved one about what kind of end-of-life care they want.

— A new survey finds most Californians believe it’s important to specify what kind of care they want at the end-of-life. But only about one out of four Californians has done so.

The California HealthCare Foundation survey explores how people feel about death and dying.

It reveals there’s a big gap between what people say they want and what they actually do about it.

Foundation program manager Kate O’Malley said it’s a tough issue.

“People are still overall reluctant, even though they think it’s important, to be talking and thinking about how to direct and guide their wishes at end of life," O'Malley said. "They’re not taking concrete steps to actually put those things in place.”

The survey shows most Californians say they haven’t talked with a loved one about what they want at the end. And only 7 percent have ever discussed it with their doctor.

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