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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:01 AM

Some Changes Should Be Made To Medicare In Regards to End of Life

Many Americans spend their last days in an intensive care unit, subjected to uncomfortable machines or surgeries to prolong their lives at enormous cost. Steve Kroft reports.



Other countries with Single Payer systems do not allow life at all costs.

Now in the USA there are cuts going on to Hospice care.

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:07 AM

1. Just went through this, we need some nation wide death with dignity laws

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:23 AM

2. My Mom was in intensive care for nine days last week.

 

With pneumonia like symptoms. Then ten dys in the regular hospital and now in a rehab hospital. She will get better.

She will probably go through this again too.


The equipment in her room must have cost millions of dollars. She had a nurse that only had two patients around the clock. Shit is expensive as hell that is for sure.

The question is where do you draw the line?

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:07 AM

3. Anybody ever calculate how much Kevorkian

saved Medicare and Social Security?

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:52 PM

4. Anybody remember that Obama tried to bring this up in 2007?

And he got crucified for 'Death Panels'? All he wanted was for medicare to cover a visit to the doctor to discuss end-of-life options. I don't know about other states, but here in KY if you don't have a certified living will or DNR available for paramedics, they are required by law to do all possible.

My mother-in-law, who died last August, was extremely clear on not wanting any heroic measures. She spent the last 3 months of her life in a relatively inexpensive nursing home (about $8000/mo) with an extremely kind and caring staff. When she passed, it was extremely peaceful and gentle. The entire staff knew her wishes. There was no last minute trip to the ER or Intensive Care.

Why can we not talk about end-of-life? Why do we freak out about it? It is a hell of a lot cheaper to have a single talk with your doctor than to spend tens, of not hundreds, or thousands of dollars to extend life for a few days of life? Where is the quality of life in being full of IV tubes and ventilators? Sometimes it seems we treat our pets better than we treat our elderly.

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:27 PM

5. I can't believe they would interview anyone assoc with Pete Peterson.

I would not trust him as far as I could throw him.
That being said, I saw this as a nurse working critical care.
Families want to feel like everything is done for their loved one.
Everyone should have a living will and have briefed their loved ones
on what they want done in this type of situation.
I am amazed that funds for hospice will be curtailed. Hospice
is an amazing program.

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:08 PM

6. PRIVATIZATION....

At it's dead level best! Keep those beds full - keep those expensive apparatus humming! We HAVE TO keep our stockholer's interests alive!

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:09 PM

7. Any attempt to limit end of life medical treatment is going to run into trouble on multiple fronts.

Some cultures do not want family members to die at home---so their family members will be in hospitals and will get the works. Some cultures do not trust the system---they will insist that "everything" be done, because they have seen how too little gets done for them if they do not raise a fuss. Then there are the doctors. Since death in the hospital is an "adverse outcome" that triggers an automatic review, doctors will order every possible test and consult in order to shield themselves from criticism during the review. And, of course, there will be hospitals secretly or not so secretly lobbying against hospice spending, because they make so much money providing futile, painful care for the dying. Don't forget the family member who has neglected the dying person for years and who suddenly shows up at the last minute to demand that the hospital "do everything possible" as a way of easing his or her own guilt. No matter how iron clad the dying person's living will, all it takes is one relative raising a stink for the living will to get tossed out the window. In these hard economic times, grandma's Social Security may be all the income that some folks have. They will be desperate to keep her alive, even if "alive" means on a ventilator in a coma.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:21 PM

10. People do die with dignity in the hospital setting WITHOUT the ICU machines.

They don't necessarily have to die at home. It is the government that allows all of the costs to accrue . It doesn't happen in the countries that have single payer. They, like us, would never be able to afford all of this.

Many hospitals have hospices units.

In my opinion the government should make reforms.

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:42 PM

8. I already have a living will. I have A-Fib, kidney problems and god knows whatelse besides

 

being heavy. My fear is that the hospital will ignore my resquest to die with dignity. Just keep me comfortable til the end. I want no pain if possible. I don't want to hang on months and months. It isn't fair to my family or me.

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:14 PM

9. I don't think that's true from my POV.

I know this is anecdotal, but at the age of almost 73, I do have people on Medicare dying around me on a fairly regular basis. It's one of the banes of old age, watching your friends and family die. Most of them have spent their last days at home with hospice care surrounded by family and very few tubes other than the ones that deliver the morphine and other drugs that ease the pain of passing. The only ones who died in the circumstances you describe were those who really didn't make it out of the ER after a massive heart attack or were expected to overcome a disease, such as George H. W. Bush just experienced, but didn't.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:24 PM

11. Statistics show that the people in your surroundings are not in the majority.

It's all in the 60 minutes piece.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:34 PM

12. I haven't considered 60 Minutes a reliable source for years now.

That was true when my dad died in 1972, but since then most people do make living wills and that makes their assertion rather dated. Also, what do you mean about people in my area being in the minority? I live in a place that's a retirement haven.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:43 PM

13. Apparently it is 20% I'm seeing it in various sources.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:12 AM

15. Yes Cleita, my 80 year old mother says the same thing.

She is in Florida in a residency program for the elderly. She sees her friends dying around her too. And she says very, very few go through what 60 minutes is describing. Most of them die gently and naturally in their beds with their friends and family around them.

I think this 60 minute piece is a hit piece for the Pete Peterson foundation. Pete Peterson HATES Social Security and Medicare. He would like to see the programs destroyed and he resents every elderly person who gets anything from the programs. He wants the money spent on American elderly to go to tax cuts for the uber rich greedy pigs like him. People like Peterson have billions of dollars. They have no worries of how they will die. You notice Dick Cheney is still getting new hearts despite his old age and black soul.

If our country starts to limit and ration Medicare the poor will be dying in droves while the wealthy get new hearts, special medical treatments and all the benefits of modern medicine. The one woman at the end explained her mother got $40,000 in medical treatment and died soon after. But what about the millions spent on the disgusting father of W? He's headed for death in the next couple of years. Why should he be allowed to get care just because he has the money?

The 68 year old in the hospital was asked if he wanted the operation or not but he wanted to live and took the operation even though he didn't survive. So, if you ask them, older people near the end of their life do want to live as long as possible.

What Pete Peterson is trying to do is set up death panels based upon how much it will cost. What the 60 minutes piece is saying is that if you have private health insurance or all the money in the world. You can have any medical treatment at the end of your life that you may want. BUT if you are on Medicare and you get cancer at 68, you should be left to die.

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Response to mucifer (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:32 PM

14. If you have no Insurance or inadequate insurance, this won't be an issue

You won't get that fourth bypass operation or Liver Transplant.

If you do have Money or Insurance, the Hospital will gladly milk you for all you're worth.

I'm not going to leave my family drowning in debt. I want to make sure that their needs will be taken care of, not Bankrupted.

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