To ration or not

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by MaggieMae, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. MaggieMae
    Offline

    MaggieMae Reality bits

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    24,043
    Thanks Received:
    1,599
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +1,601
    Shared here is William Falk's experience with his aging father. Falk is Editor-in-Chief of THE WEEK magazine:

    When my father went back to the hospital a year ago, he was clearly close to the end: His lungs and liver were barely functioning, his abdomen was filling with fluid, and he could no longer lift himself out of bed.

    The hospital's doctors nonetheless treated him aggressively, punching a hole in his chest to insert a drainage tube, which quickly led to uncontrolled bleeding, an infection, and a plunge in blood pressure.

    Within 12 hours, my father was in a coma, with no chance of recovery, sustained only by a ventilator and a tangle of multiple IV drips. He spent four days in the ICU, until I overcame the resistance of two doctors and had the machines turned off, as per my dad's living will.

    Medicare paid upward of $20,000 for these last days of my father's life, during which he received little comfort, moments of agonizing pain and fear, and all the medical care in the world, and then some.

    In the historic debate over health care reform now beginning in this country, we will hear much talk of "rationing." If health care is rationed, we'll be told, we may be denied drugs or surgeries or treatments based on cost, effectiveness, or the patient's condition of age. It sounds cold and heartless, except when you consider that the only real alternative to rationing is unlimited medical treatment--including a refusal to "lose" the battle with death even when death is near. Unlimited care, of course, requires unlimited spending, which is not viable.

    Rationing in some form is inevitable; the only question is when we'll finally be able to admit to ourselves that even in America, there are limits to everything.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. Political Junky
    Offline

    Political Junky Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    19,562
    Thanks Received:
    2,948
    Trophy Points:
    260
    Ratings:
    +5,541
    What happened to your father is not unusual. I have a living will, as he did, to prevent this very thing from happening.
    If you want to call denying dramatic efforts to save a person who is surely dying, rationing, then I approve of it.
     
  3. Nik
    Offline

    Nik Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,581
    Thanks Received:
    85
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +85
    We always ration. Its just whether we fuck over the poor and only give to the rich, or whether we give to those most in need.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  4. strollingbones
    Offline

    strollingbones Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    65,657
    Thanks Received:
    15,626
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Location:
    chicken farm
    Ratings:
    +31,971
    i sure hope all of you with a living will etc realize that it dont mean shit.....first you aint gonna sue...live or die....when you are so close that the living will comes out...you are near the end...you can do all the dnr orders you want....next of kin will be the ones deciding...if the next of kin objects to unplugging you will stay plugged
     
  5. sealybobo
    Offline

    sealybobo Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    50,661
    Thanks Received:
    3,197
    Trophy Points:
    1,845
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +10,189
    Denying someone healthcare because it will cut into profits is the ultimate in rationing.

    Or how about denying healthcare because of pre existing conditions?
     
  6. strollingbones
    Offline

    strollingbones Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    65,657
    Thanks Received:
    15,626
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Location:
    chicken farm
    Ratings:
    +31,971
    as for rationing health care....is this just for the old or will it be for the young....will pro birth people not object to letting little sick premmies die....i would say premmies are a pretty constant drain on the health care system....so now will pro birthers set a keeper weight?
     
  7. Ravi
    Offline

    Ravi Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    81,365
    Thanks Received:
    12,696
    Trophy Points:
    2,205
    Location:
    Hating Hatters
    Ratings:
    +29,814
    Insurance companies ration now. They decide if they will pay for your treatment or not.

    My father was in the hospital for two weeks on Medicare and had excellent care. Not only that he was cured of his problem...he very easily could have died. He also got a visiting nurse and successful follow up surgery.
     
  8. PoliticalChic
    Offline

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    55,829
    Thanks Received:
    15,670
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ratings:
    +24,991
    Once one is able to state the problem, it becomes so easy to prove the thesis.

    This is not the kind of example of rationing that most are opposed to.
    This is:
    In the Province of Quebec, patients suffering from serious incontinence - ie, they have to aller aux toilettes jusqu’� 12 fois par nuit (that’s 12 times a night) - have to wait three years for a half-hour operation. That’s 3 years times 365 nights times 12 trips to the bathroom.
    The central point about socialized medicine is that restricting access is the only means of controlling costs.
    In Canada, Citizens Wait 3 Years For A Half Hour Surgery To Fix Incontinence | KXNet.com North Dakota News

    Or this:
    A woman of 61 was refused a routine heart operation by a hard-up NHS trust for being too old.
    Dorothy Simpson suffers from an irregular heartbeat and is at increased risk of a stroke. But health chiefs refused to allow the procedure which was recommended by her specialist.
    The school secretary was stunned by the ruling.
    "I can't believe that at 61 I'm too old for this operation
    NHS chiefs tell grandmother, 61, she's 'too old' for £5,000 life-saving heart surgery | Mail Online

    Or this:
    "Nice refuses, on grounds of cost, to recommend some drugs for patients with advanced kidney cancer. The consultants, who include the directors of oncology at Britain’s two biggest cancer hospitals, the Royal Marsden in London and Christie hospital in Manchester, claim there is enough money in the NHS to pay for the drugs. "
    Top doctors slam NHS drug rationing
     
  9. RodISHI
    Offline

    RodISHI Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    10,392
    Thanks Received:
    1,858
    Trophy Points:
    280
    Ratings:
    +5,047
    I think it should always remain on a case by case decision on care and treatment. I've said this before yet one more time...While out to see my dad who recently had heart surgery a neighbor lady was telling me about her mother in law with advanced Alzheimer's receiving heart surgery that could extend her life up to fifteen to twenty years. The woman does not know who she is now why extend her misery? On the other hand dad has had cancer, an aortic aneurysm the size of a grown adult's fist, heart surgery twice in the last two months and he has hope of feeling half normal soon, old but still a certain quality of life worth living. Each family and person should be able to make those decisions based on their own circumstances. It would be wrong to take those choices away from the individual....people are not robots or machinery that can be simply dismissed because of cost or inconvenience.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  10. Nik
    Offline

    Nik Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,581
    Thanks Received:
    85
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +85
    Health Care Stories for America | BarackObama.com

    Thousands of them on that website.
     

Share This Page