I thought this was an interesting article in the WSJ. Wealthy people are being kept alive so they can avoid the estate tax which expires for one year on Jan. 1, 2010. To Avoid Estate Taxes, Rich Cling to Life - WSJ.com "Nothing's certain except death and taxes -- but a temporary lapse in the estate tax is causing a few wealthy Americans to try to bend those rules. Starting Jan. 1, the estate tax -- which can erase nearly half of a wealthy person's estate -- goes away for a year. For families facing end-of-life decisions in the immediate future, the change is making one of life's most trying episodes only more complex."