Two groups of chronically ill patients, alike in some respects of psychological stress and physical limitations but differing in degrees of physical threat to life because of treatment, were compared in terms of quality of life. Twenty patients undergoing hemodialysis at a satellite center and 20 patients with severe osteoarthritis receiving care at a hospital clinic, ranging in age from 40 to 60 years, were randomly selected and asked to rate themselves on Cantril's self-anchoring scale in relation to past, present, and future life satisfaction. An ANOVA for simple main effects indicated that patients undergoing hemodialysis viewed present life satisfaction significantly higher, F = 4.81, p < .05, than did patients with arthritis. Expectation for greater life satisfaction tended to be slightly better for dialysis patients, but not significantly so; past life satisfaction was the same for both groups. Dialysis patients viewed their present life better than past life, whereas arthritis patients had the opposite viewpoint. The increased life satisfaction among dialysis patients may be the result of an increased sense of physical well-being because of the dialysis procedure, and chronic pain may be a factor in the decreased life satisfaction among arthritis patients.