The conditions patients view as worse than death

DOCTORS strive to preserve life, but some patients might see debilitating illness or disability as a fate worse than death.

US researchers set out to discover what patients think, interviewing people hospitalised with a range of illnesses, including malignancies, advanced congestive heart failure and severe obstructive lung disease.

All of the patients were asked to rate a range of health states on a five-point scale from “worse than death” through to “much better than death”.

In many cases, there was broad agreement that loss of particular functions would be the