Jimmy Carter Enters Hospice Care

After a series of hospital stays, the oldest living president in US history has decided to forgo further medical intervention.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
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Edward Moyer
2 min read
Carter in three-quarters profile, looks off thoughtfully to the left, hand on chin, with a slight smile on his face.

Former President Jimmy Carter photographed in 2011.

David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Former President Jimmy Carter, who at 98 is the oldest living president in the history of the United States, has decided to forgo further medical treatment and spend his last days at home with family, the Carter Center said Saturday.

The center said in a statement that "after a series of short hospital stays" Carter had opted to "receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention" during his "remaining time." 

"He has the full support of his family and his medical team," the center said. "The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers."

The Carter Center didn't give a reason for the recent hospital stays. In 2015, Carter was diagnosed with the skin cancer melanoma, which had spread to his brain and liver. Following treatment, tests came back showing he was cancer free.

Carter, who was sworn in as the 39th US president in January 1977 and served one term, turned 98 last year. Before that, George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, who served from 1989 to 1993, was the oldest living president. Bush died in 2018 at the age of 94. Both men were born in 1924.

Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, with the awards committee citing "his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."

In 1982, he and his wife, Rosalynn, founded the Carter Center, a nonprofit devoted to those causes. He and the center have been known for monitoring elections in foreign countries and fighting disease in developing regions. Carter has also been a longtime volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit devoted to ensuring people have affordable and safe homes.