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End-of-Life Care: A Debate

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Previous FORAtv comments:
Bruce Robinson Avatar
Bruce Robinson
Posted: 09.14.10, 01:39 PM
I am a doctor working in nursing homes. Every day I see people living a life I would gladly forgo. When the burdens of living exceed the value I place in living on, I hope nothing more for myself than a dignified end which is not too long in coming. I believe that many under my care share this view. A nuanced decision about the proper limits of care that is respectful of the patient and shared with the family is called for. I ask readers to start the conversation with your family about your views on a proper end, as everyone dies. It should be clear from the discussion that our legal and social systems will not make the decision for you.
eyeswideoopen Avatar
Posted: 09.14.10, 08:06 AM
Response for Dan G. What I think is that you are cheerleader for euthanasia. Here is some news for you. You can't determine the value or quality of a life from a bureaucratic office some place. Only the physician and the patient can make those decisions based on the unique circumstances of the case. I play cards with people at the senior center with some women in their 90's whose minds are sharper than some 20-year olds. My Grandmother slipped on the ice in her late 80's and needed to have pins put in her ankle. She did very well and lived to be a few months short of 93. And she was not a burden on anybody. She lived by herself - took care of herself and died quietly in her sleep. Ken Conner is the only person on the panel who is not a ghoul - and I'm including the moderator in that assessment.
eyeswideoopen Avatar
Posted: 09.14.10, 07:54 AM
This was a rigged debate - 3 against 1. Susan Dentzer moderates a lot of these types of panels on health care "reform" and her bias is apparent once you become familiar with the subject matter and facilitation. Not coincidently, health care "reform" began at the same time that the project to map the Human Genome began. The decision for the Genome project was made in the late 1980's. The decision for nationalized, electronic medical records, 1990. The legislation to make the Internet accessible to businesses and the public 1991 (presented as a requirement for information sharing among researchers for mapping the genome), etc. The point of the above is to say that if you look at the evolution of the health care SYSTEM "reforms", what you'll see is that the health care system has been redesigned to facilitate applied genomic research on human populations - the American population. I've documented it. I've analyzed the tortured logic justifications for various aspects of it. I know for a fact that what I'm saying is true. The eugenics monsters have resurfaced and their dream system for real time experimentation on humans is nearly complete. Real doctors who practice humanitarian medicine in the tradition of "do no harm" will be pushed out or bought off and crimes against humanity will be committed.
theknopfknows Avatar
Posted: 08.15.10, 10:48 AM
WOW! how do you like that bit of torture. Let me see, IF we didn`t spend so much money on Military Adventures, we rob our young in Iraq,Afghan., Yemen, 900 bases around the world takes a lot of money to support. Embassey in Iraq, 80 football fields BIG, largest in the world, and they are getting out.We kill or mental illness our young by thne thoudands, 101,000 troops being tortured. Less money to WARS more money to take care of Our elderly, children, veterans and homeless. End of life takes care of itself, Killing across the oceans cost more. One would think that the homeland would be more precious that killing around the world. STOP THE KILLING; TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN! Money for all AMERICANS! Sick or healthy!
Eric25001 Avatar
Posted: 04.16.10, 05:13 AM
Death mongers are free to choose. Free to choose death for themselves. Free to work towards the end of unwanted death. Science marches forward! Those who want to dictate to everyone should be left alone to return to the dust from whence they came. Those who choose should be free to promote life. A healthy undefined very long on average life. Eric
Fora2 Avatar
Posted: 04.14.10, 03:54 PM
I know if I was demented, or had Alzheimer's, or some other condition for which I couldn't take care of myself, the most compassionate thing would be to let me go to sleep and never wake up. I have known people who have suffered endlessly in "Intensive Care" for three months, or even 6 MONTHS, only to finally die. You know what their last words were? "Please let me DIE."
Fora2 Avatar
Posted: 04.14.10, 03:09 PM
Excellent video. The demented and those afflicted with Alzheimer's should NOT get heroic life-saving care. Those Republicans saying something different are hypocritical propaganda mongers. Why is it, those same Republicans who demand unlimited free care under Medicare are also against a system of universal health care for poor children?? Pathetic.
Dan G Avatar
Dan G
Posted: 04.12.10, 08:35 PM
I feel that Ken Conner is in the wrong debate; his opening argument was almost painful to hear, so full it was of politics, and so ignorant of the present issue. He essentially argues that (and admits that) he just doesn't want congress to do the rationing. What I would like to hear him talk about is the specific things that he thinks should be done, those things that he thinks should or could be rationed, and how such rationing would happen. We understand, Ken, that no one really likes the U.S. Legislative branch these days. But this is the wrong place to air those grievances. Our society's treatment for the elderly is poor enough, for end-of-life people even poorer. However, we must acknowledge that at some point trying to extend a person's life will become a fairly futile pursuit. Costs are, I think, not the best way of deciding at what point this threshold is crossed, but rather once you realize that their condition will get worse (more painful, say), the prognosis is certain death within a close time frame, and all they have to live for is pudding with dinner; it is at this point that we must ask ourselves whether it's worth living just for the pudding. I won't mince words in my two cents: the most humane and dignified thing you can do for someone in this position is to help them resolve their issues, find closure with their mortality, grant them their last wish, give them a nice dinner, and kill them. This is not a solution for everyone, but for those people who's life has become worthless to themselves, and which cannot be made much better through pain management and therapy, it should be an option. Some nice points in here: -Innovation at the end of life need continue, even if a system that rations health care, but should be reserved for people with good prognoses, which are generally not people in end-of-life positions. -The market is good as seeking out solutions, but note that the solutions reached by the market are by their nature good solutions for the market, which is not always synonymous as being good solutions for people. -Ms. Hillard is totally right when she points out that what people should do instead of suing their doctors for substandard care is to petition to have their licenses revoked. -Rationing already does happen, as has been pointed out. I add this here only to note that institutionalizing rationing does not mean that it will appear for the first time. If we make an active effort to acknowledge and take control of this rationing, we will at least put it more under our control, a good thing. What I take away from this debate primarily is from their 'radical consensus'. It says that there are answers to these problems, and these are fairly common answers. I'd like to hear what the rest of you think...

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