Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, an infectious-disease specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, has a thought-provoking article in Newsweek about dying at home vs. dying in a hospital.

As a doctor at a cancer hospital, I'm often asked about death—not the spiritual side of it, but the practical. Specifically, people ask me if it is better to die in a hospital or at home. Until recently I had always voted for death at home, given its promise of relative serenity. I still think it's better. But a friend's recent experience with his elderly father reminded me that hospitals, despite their noise and hurry, still do a few things well in those difficult last moments.