Hospice Cares For Terminally Ill During Final Days

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Terminally ill patient Jackie Beattie touches a dove on October 7,... News PhotoColorado,Denver,Dove - Bird,Healthcare And Medicine,Horizontal,Illness,Lakewood - Colorado,Patient,Touching,USAPhotographer Collection: Getty Images News 2009 Getty ImagesLAKEWOOD, CO - OCTOBER 07: Terminally ill patient Jackie Beattie, 83, touches a dove on October 7, 2009 while at the Hospice of Saint John in Lakewood, Colorado. The dove releases are part of an animal therapy program designed to increase happiness, decrease loneliness and calm terminally ill patients during the last stage of life. The non-profit hospice, which serves on average 200 people at a time, is the second oldest hospice in the United States. The hospice accepts patients regardless of their ability to pay, although most are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. End of life care has become a contentious issue in the current national debate on health care reform. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)