Introduction the 4% Fallacy: A Methodological and Empirical Critique of Extended Care Facility Population Statistics *
Abandonment of the 4% fallacy will contribute to the abandonment of destructive attitudes and practices. The reluctance to become involved in terminal care and the 4% fallacy, tend to fuel each other. Dying is so unimportant or unworthy that a person should not really be counted as “living” in an extended care facility if he is in a process of terminal decline. All the painful shortcomings of the inadequate extended care facility must be regarded as of even greater consequence. Of more than 20,000 deaths, only 36 were listed as occurring in some place other than an extended care facility, hospital, or private home. Many old people die in nursing homes and other extended care facilities. Yet relatively little attention is given, even by nursing home activists, to improving the quality of terminal care. Federal and local governments have also been remiss.