Our Death-Defying, Death-Denying Society - page 8

by TheCommuter Senior Moderator | 17,085 Views | 74 Comments

The following is a psychic reading that will eventually prove accurate with every single person in existence today: we're all going to die. The fact is that life will end, and how Americans choose to cope with this reality gives... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from Aurora77
    This to me, is exactly what's wrong with healthcare today. None of us actually pay for the cost of our health care. Sure, we pay our insurance premiums, or get benefits from the government, but we're not actually writing that check to cover that ICU stay. If we actually had to pay for services, like we do anywhere else, things would be very different.

    I completely agree with the fact that the dying process is personal and decisions about end of life care should be left to patients and families and their wishes honored. At the same time, however, we have to be honest that health care resources are finite. Unfortunately, this isn't a discussion the US is ready to have.

    As a society, we have unrealistic expectations about what medicine can do--it seems that people believe if they can get to a hospital, their loved one will live and be back to normal. That just isn't the case. Our culture has such a fear of aging and death that is pathological. It's going to take a major paradigm shift before any honest discussion can take place.
    On the topic of not paying for the cost of our health care; isn't that why there is insurance and why people contribute to Medicare and other health programs, so that the risk and the costs are shared by many?
  2. 3
    "Perhaps if the family were paying for the care, the decisions made would b different." Ruby Vee

    "This to me, is exactly what's wrong with healthcare today." Aurora77

    How would things be different? People would largely forgo futile care (or they might bankrupt their family pursuing it). People would also largely forgo necessary, useful care. That is the problem. How many families could pay for chemotherapy if their child has leukemia? How many could have most any hospital treatment without being financially ruined?

    What makes this country unique in the world regarding its residents' attitude toward death? The issue isn't the payment scheme. The market isn't the solution to every problem. The issue is our attitude toward dying and death.

    And guess what? We do pay. The money that pays for insurance doesn't come from heaven, and neither does the care for those without insurance or great wealth.

    We have a cultural problem.
    tewdles, Altra, and aknottedyarn like this.
  3. 1
    Quote from Cold Stethoscope
    "Perhaps if the family were paying for the care, the decisions made would b different." Ruby Vee

    "This to me, is exactly what's wrong with healthcare today." Aurora77

    How would things be different? People would largely forgo futile care (or they might bankrupt their family pursuing it). People would also largely forgo necessary, useful care. That is the problem. How many families could pay for chemotherapy if their child has leukemia? How many could have most any hospital treatment without being financially ruined?

    What makes this country unique in the world regarding its residents' attitude toward death? The issue isn't the payment scheme. The market isn't the solution to every problem. The issue is our attitude toward dying and death.

    And guess what? We do pay. The money that pays for insurance doesn't come from heaven, and neither does the care for those without insurance or great wealth.

    We have a cultural problem.
    I'm in favor of insurance. I have it, and I've made a lot of uncomfortable choices and stayed with a couple of jobs I really HATED just to keep it in the days before COBRA. But some families opt to continue futile care even after the physicians have recommended against it, and we the tax payers are stuck with the bill. Perhaps if the family in this case had been presented with a bill for continuing care, the choices they made would have been different.

    I'd much rather see our health care dollars spent prolonging LIFE than prolonging DEATH.

    http://allnurses.com/general-nursing...ts-756171.html
    aknottedyarn likes this.
  4. 3
    Great read as always from the OP, love the articles and thought provoking issues. With that being said, I agree with many here about prolonging death. Many are afraid to die or let their loved ones go. I also agree and have said many times there are worse things than death and I have seen it all to often. Just because we can "do something" doesn't mean we should.. But on the other hand who decides at what age, Dx, etc is worth saving or "doing something" or not.. I think that is a very slippery sloop with dangerous outcomes...

    I do think MD's need to buck up and really inform families about the outcomes, and not skirt around the obvious. We have gotten pretty good at knowing who will or wont survive. They write it in their progress notes but wouldn't dare state it to the families. I really admire the docs that are honest; families need the truth not what if's and tx that lead to more issues, pain and complications.
    tewdles, aknottedyarn, and TheCommuter like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Very true. . .

    However, my next statement might be construed as insensitive, but here it is. The patients and families who are fighting the uphill battle to live in the face of terminal prognoses are not the ones footing the bill. If the family personally had to come up with the $150,000+ worth of medical bills to 'have everything done' for 98-year-old grandfather in the ICU for another three weeks with no feasible chance of recovery, I bet they'd be singing a different tune. They've extended quantity of life for an additional three weeks, but the added time did nothing to contribute to quality of life: more tubes, more drips, more comatose state. The inevitable outcome (death) has merely been extended another three weeks.

    The Cost of Dying - CBS News
    Excellent article and I absolutely agree with allowing families to pay for end of life care beyond palliative care. There is a political problem with trying to accomplish this though because there are groups on opposite sides of the aisle that support providing all the care that we can.

    On the Right there are those who hold life to be sacred and something to be preserved at all cost for as long as possible. On the Left are those who argue it's unfair to only allow the rich to have heroic measures which extend life.

    I believe it is unkind to provide care which prioritizes quantity of life over quality of life. I've seen patients who are hollow shells, mere vessels for processing nutrients and medications and experiencing fatigue and pain. If someone has the means and desires that experience then more power to them.

    I know that often it is families who do not want to accept the inevitability of death. That is where we need to offer sympathy and education to help them come to terms with a real and unavoidable part of the life cycle.
    TheCommuter likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top