If all goes as hoped, the body will turn into compost. It is a startling next step in the natural burial movement. Even as more people opt for interment in simple shrouds or biodegradable caskets, urban cemeteries continue to fill up. For the environmentally conscious, cremation is a problematic option, as the process releases greenhouse gases

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As research moves healthcare into the modern era, what of our evolving understanding of the interpersonal elements of medical care and the difference they can make to patient outcomes?

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Hopkins and three other hospitals are part of an ambitious experiment, in collaboration with the Berman Institute, to retool the ICU not only to make it safer but also to make it more humane

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“You’re at the hospital because something’s wrong with you – you’re vulnerable – then you get to wear the most vulnerable garment ever invented to make the whole experience that much worse,” said Ted Streuli, who lives in Edmond, Okla., and has had to wear hospital gowns on multiple occasions

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Dhruv Khullar: “Doctor,” she said softly — it was a title that still didn’t feel quite comfortable to me, a newly minted doctor, especially coming from a patient several decades older than me. “You remind me of my nephew.”

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“We are broadening the definition of harm to include disrespectful care, which is every bit as important as an infection in the ICU,” says Peter Pronovost, a critical care physician and director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine

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Johns Hopkins researchers present groundbreaking work defining treatment with respect and dignity in the ICU

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The advocacy group Compassion & Choices says that bills on aid-in-dying have been introduced this year in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Utah. Court cases have surfaced in New York and California

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