To the Editor: Bayer et al. discuss the mortality and economics of the care of the terminally ill (Dec. 15 issue).1 They admit that it is difficult to determine when an illness is terminal but propose changes in care when such a determination is made. However, they recognize that new medical technologies have lengthened the time span between the onset of the “terminal phase” of an illness and death. They justly advocate that care of terminally ill patients may be different but not less. The use of the term “terminal” is inappropriate. As a label, it is cruel and unjust.
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