The day began in Mom's room with a 10:00 a.m. conference at Upper Valley Medical Center, west of Columbus, Ohio. In attendance were my 93-year-old mother Joanne (now in her third week of hospitalization), her palliative-care nurse Richard, her Episcopal priest Mother Nancy and myself. Mom was on high-flow oxygen therapy delivered through a nasal cannula. Despite this, her blood-oxygen levels were well below normal. Clearly, her lung function was declining. ...

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