questionsn.y. times: "we need death panels." do you agree?

vote-for12vote-against
vote-for2vote-against

It's an interesting thought experiment to explore that avenue, but it would never happen so long as every politician has to pander to the elderly to get and keep their job.

I don't know what the video has to do with this or anything.

vote-for3vote-against

Well, there are always going to be insufficient resources. So, I guess the questions is "Should it only be about the amount of money a patient is willing and able to pay?" If we are fine leaving it up to dollars, no panels are needed. If we want another characteristic regarding who gets medical care, someone is going to have to make that decision.

vote-for4vote-against

Lets start with the elderly politicians!

vote-for4vote-against

Well, economics is the study of scarce resources. Health care is a definitively scarce resource, so it too will fall under economic study...

And no, I do not agree. I believe that economics solves this problem relatively well, and better than a command economy has proven itself capable of doing in general. I'd prefer to let the current standing economic system handle it. Before I get called heartless and wanting to kill poverty-stricken people, no, I do not. So I also support hospital ERs being open at tax payer expense to treat emergencies regardless of ability to pay. And religious institutions that do the same thing. And charity hospitals. and all the rest. I know saying that won't stop the rampant downvoting, but it's important to get that out there.

vote-for3vote-against

I think we should have death panels. The problem is we spend billions on heathcare procedures yearly just so someone can live a few months longer. I have no problem if someone wants to pay out of pocket for some surgery that has a small chance of success but I don't feel like the insurance pool should have to take a larger premium cost because someone wants their grandmother/father to live 6 months longer.

It's hard to say that I know but we need to take emotion out of that decision.

vote-for11vote-against

I have a fair amount of experience with these questions, both personally and professionally, and they are never easy questions. "Death panel" is a catchy hook that polarizes the discussion, but what I believe we really need are conversations about what it means to live and what it means to die.

A 87 year old relative had end-stage Alzheimer's. He was long past recognizing his children or his wife; he could no longer speak, no longer walk, no longer control his bowels or bladder, and no longer chew. Because he could (kinda) swallow, his nutrition was provided as thick shakes. As often happens in that situation, he developed pneumonia as a result of aspirating liquids into his lungs. When his lungs failed, I watched his wife insist that he be placed on a ventilator in the ICU because she loved him. I couldn't help but think that if she loved him, she'd let him go.

vote-for11vote-against

No matter how old you are, write a health care proxy and name one person authorized to make health care decisions; name one back-up: if your next-of-kin consists of five children and none are named as your proxy, the hospital is unlikely to let any of them make decisions for legal reasons. Make sure someone has a copy or knows where to find the document if you are incapacitated.

Spell out what end-of-life measures you might want: ventilator? feeding tube? dialysis? what neurological prognosis would influence those decisions? what about your ability to live independently? These decisions likely change throughout our life: a young parent might make different decisions than someone in the twilight of life. Research the outcomes of interventions and consider the contexts: something like 1% of elderly patients in the ICU who undergo CPR will leave the hospital alive; your opinion on a ventilator after a car accident might be different than after treatment for metastatic cancer.

vote-for11vote-against

Have these conversations with your family: with your parents, with your spouse, with your adult children. They are awkward and incredibly difficult, but they are essential. Do it for yourself, so that you receive the care that you'd want but are spared suffering beyond what you'd want. More than that, do it for the person who would have to make the decisions for you. Do not make your children feel responsible for the decision to remove you from a ventilator when you are brain-dead: do not make them live with uncertainty and guilt.

vote-for2vote-against

@axphw1: Well, basically, if the government is going to be forced to limit how much health care a person can receive because of how much it costs the government, why is it handing "free" phones which are being paid for by the government?

Basically, the government should not be telling us it must restrict health care costs while paying for cell phones.

vote-for2vote-against

@figgers3036: I agree with you, health care should be "rationed" by the free market economy. If private institutions are willing to pay the costs for those who cannot more power to them. A command economy will always make arbitrary decisions and will usually end up becoming very corrupt as those with money will be able to buy their way through the bureaucracy and gain access to extra health care. This will actually deplete those scarce resources in the command economy for those who cannot afford to buy their way through the bureaucracy.

vote-for4vote-against

@neuropsychosocial: You're completely right. These conversations suck and are awful, and need to happen.

Thankfully, my grandparents all had these conversations with my mom, who happens to be an RN. She has medical power of attorney, and knows how far every individual wants to go. So some have DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate orders), some want ventilators until their affairs are in order, etc., etc.

I can't say enough how much I agree with you on having these conversations and understanding how far someone wants you to go for them.

vote-for1vote-against

Can't we all just go to universal health care?

vote-for2vote-against

@jsimsace: Universal Health Care, by it's nature, requires that government ration care using arbitrary methods. This means persons who are seriously ill or have long term illnesses will not have access to the health care they will need. The government will say that these people are consuming "too much" health care than the government can afford to provide.

vote-for2vote-against

I'd love to be on a death panel. Where do I sign up?

If I can't be on the panel (with the deciding vote), I'd really rather that they not exist at all.

vote-for1vote-against

I believe in palliative care for myself, no extraordinary measures to keep me alive. I have communicated this with my family and friends. As others have mentioned, it is important that your wishes are known.
As for death panels, sure, why not? As long as they are in game show format and they name it 'So You Think You Can't Die'.

vote-for1vote-against

Instead of "death panels," we need "Realistic Quality of Life Panels." Forcing life essentials (nutrition, air, etc.) into a non-responsive human body is where this all gets blurry. Perhaps we as a nation need to do our best to define this line?