It’s extremely important for families to discuss healthcare and aggressive treatments before a crisis occurs. Recent research on gender and age disparities in healthcare published last week by the Canadian Medical Journal Association reveals that women, especially older women, are 20% more likely to die in an ICU and are 33% less likely to receive the life-supporting treatments they need than men. These disparities in health care were observed in a study of over half a million patient records in 14 Ontario hospitals. The research did not clarify whether this disparity is because of family and patient preferences or the decisions of healthcare professionals. This latest research joins the many other studies that point out women receive "suboptimal care" for serious illnesses.