14 Stories

Meet the Foster Dad Who Helps Children Die

The Libyan-born Muslim takes in the sickest kids

(Newser) - Several years after Mohamed Bzeek came to the US from Libya as a college student in 1978, the quiet, devout Muslim met a woman named Dawn who was a foster parent after being inspired by her grandparents, who had also been foster parents. The two married and began to foster... More »

Former Model Starved to Death—but Not From Anorexia

Down to 77 pounds, Lisa Brown said she was 'done fighting'

(Newser) - In her late 20s, Lisa Brown had it all—the 5'10" former model married her college sweetheart, had attended grad school, and loved to cook gourmet meals and take spins in a classic Mustang convertible. But at 28 she began to mysteriously lose weight and vomit after eating. By... More »

Heartbreaking Santa Story May Have Been a Hoax

Professional Santa claimed 5-year-old boy died in his arms

(Newser) - A heartbreaking story about a professional Santa Claus who comforted a terminally ill 5-year-old boy as the child died in his arms may not be true. Eric Schmitt-Matzen told the Knoxville News-Sentinel he had been called to a hospital because the dying boy wanted to meet Santa Claus, and that... More »

FBI: Hospice Owner Told Nurses to Make Patients 'Go Bye-Bye'

Search warrant reveals unbelievable texts

(Newser) - It's tough to comprehend: The FBI says the owner of a Dallas-area hospice ordered nurses to increase drug dosages for patients to speed their deaths and maximize profits, reports the AP . The revelations come via KXAS-TV , which obtained an affidavit filed to justify a search warrant of Novus Health... More »

What It's Like to Adopt a Baby Who's Going to Die

Family takes in infants with grim prognoses, loves them for as long as they can

(Newser) - When Cori Salchert and her husband Mark of Sheboygan, Wis., adopted a baby in 2012, it was under unusual circumstances. Biological parents to eight children already, Cori had spent years as a registered nurse and always loved caring for hospice patients as well as babies in maternity wards, she tells... More »

Westboro's Fred Phelps 'on Edge of Death,' Says Son

Reportedly in hospice care

(Newser) - Fred Phelps, best known for his controversial protests at military funerals, is reportedly in hospice care and "on the edge of death" in Kansas, his estranged son says in a Facebook post. Nate Phelps also claims that the 84-year-old driving force behind the Westboro Baptist Church was ex-communicated by... More »

Not Dying? Hospice Wants You Anyway

Recruiting healthier patients for profit, 'Washington Post' reveals

(Newser) - Hospice care is for the terminally ill, yet the number of "hospice survivors" jumped 50% in California between 2002 and 2012. Something to celebrate? Not quite: A Washington Post investigation into the $17 billion industry now dominated by for-profits reveals hospice companies recruit patients who aren't dying because... More »

Your Dog Can Now Get Hospice Care

Vets increasingly making end-of-life home visits

(Newser) - With pet owners reluctant to lose their companions at a veterinary clinic, end-of-life care for animals is changing. Increasingly, vets are offering in-home services, during which they make dying dogs and cats as comfortable as possible; in many cases, they ultimately euthanize them in their own homes, the New York ... More »

12-Year-Old Boy Stops Cancer Treatment

Alex Rodriguez prefers hospice care at home with his family

(Newser) - Five years of surgery, chemo, and rehabilitation have convinced a 12-year-old cancer patient to halt his treatments, ABC News reports. Alex Rodriguez of Shelbyville, Tenn., chose hospice care at home with his family over going to Texas for experimental treatments. “He is a very courageous young man to have... More »

Nurse Loses License Over Affair With Dying Patient

Amber Van Brunt admits to falling 'in love' with wheelchair-bound man

(Newser) - Bad idea: Having sex with a married man. Worse idea: Having sex with a married man who also happens to be your hospice patient. A nurse has lost her license for 20 years after admitting to doing just that, the Oklahoman reports. Amber Van Brunt, 33, is appealing the Oklahoma... More »

Dying Doc: Don't Keep Me Alive

ALS patient explains why he chooses quality of life over quantity

(Newser) - Martin Welsh considers himself a lucky man, with a loving family and innumerable friends. “Life has been truly wonderful,” the 55-year-old doctor writes in the Los Angeles Times. But soon, that life will end, and he doesn’t want his doctors to do anything to prolong it. Welsh... More »

Terminally Ill Patients Avoid Hospice Talk

Doctors, poorly trained in breaking bad news, also procrastinate

(Newser) - Doctors and patients are prone to procrastinate when it comes to tough end-of-life decisions, according to a Harvard study. Researchers found that only about half of the 1,517 terminal lung cancer patients surveyed had discussed hospice with their doctors within four to seven months of their diagnosis. Hospice care... More »

Doyenne Dies in Style at NY Hotel

Marie-Dennett McDill spent her last 10 weeks at the Carlyle, a place she loved

(Newser) - When 71-year-old Marie-Dennett McDill learned she had terminal cancer, her children checked her into her beloved Carlyle Hotel, the Times reports. McDill stayed at her favorite swanky locale in NYC under 24-hour hospice care for her last 10 weeks. She took daily walks in Central Park and camped out in... More »

Slow Medicine Lets Elderly Go More Gracefully

Approach prefers less aggressive stance in fighting signs of aging

(Newser) - In a medical culture seemingly aimed at reviving and resuscitating, the slow medicine approach instead allows elderly patients to weigh the risks and burdens of treatment against the likelihood that it will significantly extend their lives. For many seniors, the philosophy offers the freedom to choose comfort over cure, dying... More »

14 Stories