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Caller on Thom Hartmann show this week: Sustainability = "stop helping people live longer"

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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:04 PM
Original message
Caller on Thom Hartmann show this week: Sustainability = "stop helping people live longer"
I knew this meme was out there. As usual, you heard it on Thom Hartmann's show first (Wednesday this week).

How many people does this caller represent?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. It's a small wing of people, the Misanthropes really
There are those who think the Human Race should go extinct

Personally, I think that's just as delusional as waiting for the rapture
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. Stop having craploads of babies instead. nt
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. That's what Thom said, and then this douchebag said no, people
just shouldn't live as long.

:wtf:

That caller was one of those people who makes my brain hurt.

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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. And allow the Elderly who are still capable of adding value to any enterprise in any capacity to
continue to do so on a basis that is appropriate to their lives.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
21. Yep. Time to call phony "Pro-Lifers" what they are: Slavers.
Throw away anything but the richest institutional memory and keep the rest of it young and dumb.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. Lots of people.
But by "people" they mean "other people".

I wonder how many people older than 40 think this?

A friend was over last night. He quipped that maybe a flu pandemic would be a good thing.

I replied; "sure. Imagine how much easier life will be for our neighbors after we and our families are all dead."

Everyone thinks that the world will be better if it's less crowded. They're less likely to think so if they think they are the part that will get weeded out.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. Well, from a purely amoral outlook...
It makes perfect sense.

From a moral outlook, of course, it's horrifying.

It's the big tripping point of environmentalism. How do we balance the fact that no, the world cannot support billions upon billions of our species, with the fact that it's immoral to discard the elderly and control pregnancy and birth? We really can't manage finite resources while encouraging infinite growth, it's just not possible.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Amorality still assumes self interest.
It's in no one's self-interest to die young.

Oh, you don't mean you, you mean me.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
35. But not necessarily individual self-interest
It it comes down to individual desires vs. the survival of our species, and the myriad species of other life that we depend on, what can the choice be?

It's an ethical quandry, is all. Unfortunately I happen to believe it's a quandry our descendants will one day have to face down, after generation after generation of totally self-absorbed motherfuckers like you and I and our parents and our children keep writing IOU's for future generations.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #35
44. So if someone hasn't spawned, does that give them a chance to live to be old? nt
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
49. His point of view is the only and correct one
"...after generation after generation of totally self-absorbed motherfuckers like you and I and our parents and our children keep writing IOU's for future generations."




See post #1
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. From the practical outlook too: All systems lose the value of what accrued exprience and
wisdom would have been available if the elderly were still contributors. And even in re those elderly who are not wise and experienced, the system loses the value added by the sub-systems that care for all of the elderly.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
36. If we're looking at a survival standpoint, however, there's a cutoff limit
Nomadic societies, when faced with hard times, would often abandon their children and elderly. It was never a decision entered into lightly, but it helped ensure the survival of the childbearing members of the group. Such societies did suffer from lack of elder mentors, and generation gaps, but the long-term survival of the group was the goal, not necessarily it's short-term comfort.

Extreme situations call for extreme measures. I don't believe we, as a whole species, will see such extremes for several more generations. But it's a quandry that could very conceivably arrive on the shoulders of our descendants, if current problems aren't addressed, and followed up on by our children and their children.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
24. you think "it's immoral to control pregnancy and birth............."
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. I think he means to control OTHER'S pregnancy and birth.
In other words, you're free to take the pill but not to force others to do so. Free to abort a pregnancy but not free to require your sister to have an abortion. Etc.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. That's not what it said - and went on about "finite resources" and "infinite growth"
"How do we balance the fact that no, the world cannot support billions upon billions of our species, with the fact that it's immoral to discard the elderly and control pregnancy and birth? We really can't manage finite resources while encouraging infinite growth, it's just not possible."

Maybe the poster will clarify this. :thumbsup:
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. Alright, clarification...
Mandating laws regarding others' reproduction is something I consider immoral. Controlling your own is just fine and dandy.

Frankly I didn't even consider that anyone would need that clarified...
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. "the fact that it's immoral to control pregnancy and birth"
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:49 PM by omega minimo
Yes, that would need clarification.

Perhaps you don't consider what "control pregnancy" and "birth control" means.

What you apparently meant was "control reproductive choice" or how might you have said it clearly?

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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. I said it perfectly clearly
Perhaps you didn't consider that most people are not accustomed to accommodating your personal insecurities ahead of time?
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. wow what a fucked up way to not acknowledge the ambiguity of your statement and be a
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. That's just the thing - It wasn't ambiguous, you just misunderstood
I clarified, for your benefit. You then demanded I further redact myself for your viewing pleasure. Simply put, I'm not going to.

Your misunderstanding was, to my view, based off a pretty big assumption on your part, and clearly missed the context of my statement in relation to the discussion at hand. Pardon me if I simply don't take too kindly to random people just up and assuming I'm some sort of anti-choice mass-birther freakshow sort, and then start talking down to me when I clarify for their benefit.

if my response upset you, oh well. You clearly wanted to be upset from the get-go, and now you have something. If you like I could be much, much ruder?
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. Someone who assumed as you are assuming they did, would not have asked for clarification.
:thumbsdown:
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. Someone is wrong on the internet!!!! Someone is wrong on the internet!!!!
:rofl:
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. He said it perfectly clearly
from a malecentric point of view, that is, by definition, the correct one and the only one that need be accommodated or considered, from the malecentric point of view, of course.

Anyone with another point of view who politely requests clarification, is accused of lack of awareness and insecurities: "Perhaps you didn't consider that most people are not accustomed to accommodating your personal insecurities ahead of time?"

The malecentric deigns to accommodate The Other point of view, "for your benefit." Any other discussion of the use of language is a challenge to the unshakeable malecentric POV. It's an AFFRONT! "You then demanded I further redact myself for your viewing pleasure. Simply put, I'm not going to."

Nya nya nya NyAH nyah. "I'm not going to! I don't have to! I'm right and your POV doesn't matter. Using clear language acknowledging the non-malecentric POV in discussion of "controlling pregnancy and birth" doesn't matter.

"Viewing pleasure"? Another malecentric fixation? :spray:

"Pardon me if I simply don't take too kindly to random people just up and assuming I'm some sort of anti-choice mass-birther freakshow sort, and then start talking down to me when I clarify for their benefit."

:wow: :crazy: Perhaps he "didn't consider that most people are not accustomed to accommodating his personal insecurities ahead of time."

"If my response upset you, oh well. You clearly wanted to be upset from the get-go, and now you have something. If you like I could be much, much ruder?"

Malecentric posturing, poo flinging, chest pounding, complete with the Dittohead feminazi meme that "You clearly wanted to be upset from the get-go, and now you have something."

Well done :applause: bravo :applause:

The malecentric is the one who ASSUMES big time and never ever CONSIDERS that from a different point of view "control pregnancy and birth" means the opposite of what he insists it means (unless someone is insecure and wanting to be upset).

The non-malecentric point of view comprehends that "control pregnancy and birth" are not "amoral," which is what the malecentric claimed -- and then got fussy about clarifying. There are those here who believe what he actually said (not what he meant, but nevermind) that it is amoral to "control pregnancy and birth" -- i.e. birth control and abortion. It WAS worth asking.

What he apparently meant was "control reproductive choice" or some other phrase he couldn't come up with; words that acknowledge the presence and viewpoint of the woman in the whole process.


Sexism is the real "big tripping point of environmentalism" and liberalism, just as it was in the last progressive era, before the clock was turned back on feminism and other civil rights.

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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #40
52. Perfectly so.
I immediately understood your meaning. :hi:
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. from a completely malecentric viewpoint that didn't even understand it's own blind spot
:thumbsup:
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. Oh good grief.
Get over yourself. You knew damn well what the poster meant. You're being disingenuous. Stop.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #54
55. Backatcha. Read the thread. You share the same arrogance or WhoTF are you to say?
Oh good grief. Get over yourself. You knew damn well what the poster meant. You're being disingenuous. Stop.

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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. .
Edited on Sat May-02-09 04:15 PM by omega minimo
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #24
45. War is designed to control population. nt
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OHDEM Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. He forgot the rest of his statement..
"...unless it's me or my family."

Where do you draw the line? Should we stop vaccinating? Stop chemotherapy? Stop selling insuline? Stop helping premmies? Who decides who lives and dies (and when)?
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. I didn't hear the call but if you have been at a nursing home lately you
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:14 PM by grantcart
will be aware that the medical profession has become expert at extending life at the later years when all repeat all quality of life has gone.

My mother, 94 years old, has spent the last 4 years blind and infirm in a nursing home with only a few hours of consciousness a day. She is delusional most of the time but when she is lucid simply begs for help to end her misery. She is down to 78 pounds and they have achieved a remarkable stability that could go on another 3-4 years. And yes she signed a 'no heroic' codicil, but they aren't really effective unless she is completely comatosed.


If that is what the caller is talking about then I would agree and certainly would not want to have my life extended under such circumstances.
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OHDEM Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. For the record, I'm not against assisted suicide but....
it would have to be a personal decision. Sounds like in your situation, your Mom wouldn't be considered able to make that choice even if it were available to her. I'm sorry. :-(

My FIL is starting to show signs of Alzheimers which runs in his family. My husband is so sad since he watched 2 grandfathers die from this. My FIL is such a wonderful man, too. Full of life and joy and always chasing after the grandkids. He's 75 and confused a lot. He's fighting with MIL now because she's nervous and keeps reminding him of things which is irritating to him probably more than usual because he KNOWS he's not thinking clearly.

I hope your Mom (and you and your family) find peace soon.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. No it doesn't apply

A few years ago she lost the ability to chew and they asked her if she wanted a feeding tube and then to rehab her swallowing reflex, she said no but changed her mind a couple of days later. She now regrets that decision.


I read a statistic that something like40% of all medical expenses in the US are spent on the last year of life. If we spent that on pure preventative care people would be healthier and live longer (and eventually medical costs would drop).


The problem isn't that we are spending money for people to live in their 90s its that we shouldn't be spending so much on 'fixing' a problem and more on prevention. More people would live to their 90s and in better shape.


Thanks for your kind sentiment.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Such situations should be on an individual decision basis that includes what family is left, or, if
no family, some community defined guardianship.

It sounded to me as though the caller could have been calling for a wholesale end to geriatric medicine.
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Unfortunately, the caller was more generic than that.
I agree with you that sometimes, the extension of life is not a good thing, because there is no quality left in that life.

But this guy was just flat saying that if people didn't live very long, then that would take care of the population problem in the world.

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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. P.S. I work in a nursing home and know first hand that there are many elderly and disabled who WANT
very very very much to contribute something to the enterprise that all of us refer to as "We".

I see the daily details of their lives and, as an "ex-" teacher, think of the numerous ways this could be possible.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. My mom is in assisted living with pretty severe dementia and very
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:52 PM by kestrel91316
unstable BP. We now have medical power of attorney and make all treatment decisions with two and only two goals for her: no fear, and no pain. She gets drugs as needed to help with those and THAT'S IT. If she collapses from low BP (again), the staff is to put her in bed and let her rest. No more paramedica snd hospital trips.

We'll be damned if we're going to let her pathetic non-life be prolonged in futility.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. Have you considered moving her to hospice?
That's what my father did with his mom when she refused a feeding tube. The nursing home wasn't about to let her fade away naturally.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
32. now she is old and frail but has no terminal condition
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. I understand
In my father's case, the nursing home was going to force a feeding tube down his mother's throat. This was 18 years ago and nursing home policies were different. Grandmother was 93 and up until her hip broke, she was lucid and ambulatory. After the fracture, her mind, as well as her body, failed rapidly. She balked at the poking and prodding and fought attempts to feed her. Dad felt she was being treated cruelly and yanked her out of the nursing home. He put her in hospice where she peacefully passed a month later.

Good wishes to you. It is very hard to watch our parent's bodies turn on them.
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mantis49 Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #32
50. Late stages of dementia IS a terminal condition
and as such, a person is eligible for hospice care. I used to be a hospice nurse and I also have extensive experience in nursing homes.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
26. Unfortunately, when the "system" becomes involved,
The actual person and their families lose "control". When people used to share inter-generational homes, old people died natural deaths at home...in their own beds, with family by their sides.

Modernity brought intervention in to the death process, and once "others" take control, hanging onto life itself, becomes the goal..at any cost..and the costs are HUGE.

Basically, from the instant we take our first breaths, we are headed in one direction, and microbes, viruses & bacteria are "out to get us"..something WILL kill us all.. No amount of money will buy immortality, but at the end of our lives, vast quantities of wealth get poured into the system, in hopes of prolonging the last vestiges of life left in us..

It's just what we do..wise or unwise, we usually try to hang on as long as possible..

When we were a mostly agrarian society, people had a day-to-day relationship with life & death, and may have accepted the fact that people died too..

Modern medicine was sold to us as a way to live a LONG time..but when only the rich can afford the primo care that prevents & identifies potential troubles early enough for successful intervention, many people end up spending (or are asked to spend) LOTS of money at the end of life...just to hang on a few more months..often in agony..

In our family, we are engaged in a life-death struggle to save a cat.. We have spent $825.00 in 3 weeks, desperately trying to save our kitty..we are syringe feeding him and medicating him, because his liver disease is treatable, and possibly reversible..
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
37. I also work at a nursing home, and there are several residents who are pretty far-gone
But I can't in any fashion advocate "cutting them off"... Not at all. Most people in that condition are in no way at all lucid enough to make such a major decision for themselves, and there is no way in hell that foisting it on them could ever be considered ethical.

However, this particular situation has a distinct solution - Treatments that combat and reduce senility and other such conditions. Alzheimer's is the scariest disease in the world, but there have been numerous breakthroughs... Small ones, but every step is a step in the right direction.

I just can't help but think that discoveries are intentionally stymied by the medical industry - a lucid patient is one who can refuse the chemical cocktail, which cuts into pharma profits.
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Betty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
38. I agree completely
the last year or so of my Dad's life was horrible for him and the family. He was kept alive to have zero quality of life. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
14. Well... how about "stop helping EVIL people live longer". I'll sum it up with two words and a number
Strom Thurmond 101

any questions?
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
17. How about stop *making* people live longer.
It should be an individual's choice how long into decrepit, painful and unaffordable old age they want to keep going. Neither the state nor the medical profession should stand in the way.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Just re-listened to it: "...trying to get people to live longer..."
Obviously, there are some people who benefit themselves and others by living longer and some who don't. The caller didn't have time to clarify his position, so it comes across as a blanket statement about ending efforts to help anyone live longer.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
20. One should study China's aging demographics to see whether its problems may also occur in the U.S.
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
22. Stop prolonging agony for those whose lives are over but others won't let them
go. We spend ridiculous amounts of money on people who are dying to keep them alive for a few days or weeks, often in agony or
in a coma from which they will never awake. Americans don't like to face death, it's that simple. So they throw money and technology at
it in hopes it will go away. Often against the wishes of the person who is dying.

If that is what this person was referring to, I agree.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Agreed, if that's what he is referring to, but many of us also know that a healthcare
system that puts profit first WILL indeed manage certain kinds of care plans in ways that track them out of the system, permanently, as soon as possible. I'm not talking about the terminal here, but stuff that's earlier than that, say more in the acute category or chronic. There are all kinds of judgement calls with the Elderly before they get terminal, little tiny decisions that CAN in fact make the difference between a realtively functional person and someone who's in the hospital and on the meter for when the system says "time's up!" I am concerned about self-fulfilling prophecies here that assume a person is "better off dead" or soon will be, so why invest any more time and effort in them; guess what, the assumption causes behaviors that make that assumption come true. Then everyone feels perfectly justified in whatever they did or did not do. Morphine is such a handy and legal little tool and it's practical uses have been known and USED for a very long time.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. And none of that even mentions the effect of the whole Hospice Industry.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 03:50 PM by patrice
A business model that inherently has to be vulnerable to all kinds of abuse that is over-written by psycho-religous bullshit. Not that all of it IS about that, but there is the very distinct possiblity that a significant minority of it is.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
25. Sustainability means recognizing that we are all part of the life of the (healthy or not) planet.
:think: ALL of us.
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suede1 Donating Member (770 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
47. It's amazing how many people jump to that when population control is mentioned. We desperately need
population control. But by cutting birth rates.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:24 PM
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51. Tax cuts for every abortion!!!! That'll stop the Octomomism. nt
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jdp349 Donating Member (372 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 12:21 AM
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56. sort of true
In general, it's a tremendous waste of resources to help someone past life expectancy live longer when you consider the opportunity costs involved of doing so.

It presents an interest ethical dilemma that certainly should be picked apart.

Sustainability though is really about finding ways to producing more with less, or just consuming less. When you are faced with the bitter realities of scarcity, expensive medical procedures for the elderly don't make sense, unless of course society values preserving the elderly above a lot of other possible uses for those resources.

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