What Kennedy's Own End of Life Decisions Can Teach Us

by Hanna Rosin

Ann Hulbert writes in DoubleX about how Kennedy's own "good ending" was so different than the model he proposed for prudent health care reform:

When you think about it, the ailing Kennedy’s own end-of-life decisions seem like every American’s ideal, hardly an advertisement for overhauling a system that makes such options possible. First, he got to choose the intensive treatment he wantedsurgery, chemo, and radiationalthough his tumor was judged inoperable and lethal, and although he was diagnosed at 76. And then he got to die a dignified death, not trapped in a hospital, but saying farewell to family, friends, and dogs on Cape Cod. No one would dream of begrudging him his “good ending,” as the Times called it; it is inspiring. But perhaps the Senator wouldn’t mind if, as we pay tribute to the valiant close to an impressive career, we also note how much his “prudently aggressive” medical approach must have cost, and how unusually lucky he was in the way it played out.