Steve Kroft's pick: The cost of dying

Are we spending too much money for end-of-life medical care?

This week our summer series of "Correspondent Favorites" continues with Steve Kroft. As one of his favorites, Steve chose a piece that first aired in November 2009: "The Cost of Dying."

"The Cost of Dying" is a provocative story that poses a difficult question: Are we paying too much to prolong the life of terminally ill patients? In 2008, Medicare paid out $50 billion for the care of patients in the last two months of their lives. And just a day in the ICU can cost ten thousands of dollars for a very ill patient.

Watch Scott Pelley's favorite pick

Is it money well spent? While family members might want everything done to save a loved one's life, one physician tells Steve: "Denial of death at some point becomes a delusion, and we start acting in ways that make no sense whatsoever."

"The Cost of Dying," produced by Andy Court, won a prestigious Peabody Award in 2010 for taking "a courageous, objective look at the actual monetary cost of end-of-life care."

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