Doctors are less likely to die in hospital, have surgery or be admitted to intensive care, than the general public, new research has revealed.
While most people report a wish to die at home rather than in a medical facility, the majority of deaths do occur in a hospital or nursing home setting.
However, a recent study suggests doctors are more likely to die in a manner more consistent with end-of-life wishes, than the general population.
Experts suggest one of the reasons doctors may receive less intensive end-of-life care is because they are all too aware of the burden it places on both the patient and their loved ones.
Another reason, they put forward, is that doctors know better than most the benefits of palliative care in the home - and are able to afford to pay for the often expensive nursing.
The study examined whether doctors receive higher or lower intensity end-of-life treatments compared with non-physicians.
They examined the medical records of people aged 66 or older who died between 2004 and 2011 in Massachusetts, Michigan, Utah and Vermont.
Researchers concluded doctors were less likely to die in a hospital compared with the general population - 28 percent versus 32 percent.
They were also less likely to have surgery - 25 percent versus 27 percent - and were less likely to be admitted to intensive care - 26 percent versus 28 percent.
The authors wrote: 'The possible reasons physicians received less intense end-of-life care than others could be knowledge of its burdens and futility, as well as the benefits and the financial resources to pay for other treatment options, such as palliative care or skilled nursing required for death at home.'
Addressing the issue, Dr Jacquelyn Corley said: 'There comes a time for every person when his or her identity is gone, and the quality of life should be valued more than the mere presence of it.'
That, she said is a view shared by many healthcare professionals.
intensive care: 重症监护
palliative care: 安宁疗护