QUALITY LIFE- TOO EXPENSIVE?
CHEAP DEATH – IS IT REALLY?
Since when does living a quality life for the medically or physically challenged mean too costly for taxpayers?
Living a quality life, to me, means seeing and feeling the world around us…seeing the sparkle and sharp colors of new daybreak splash slowly across the horizon and its new dawn promise, the muted and soft streaks of a sunset inch across the sky at day’s end, the happy, funny gurgle and contented baby coo, a bee’s buzz as it flits from flower to flower, the busy chirp and chat of birds, the cheery tug of anticipation at the shout of “STRIKE ONE!” when your child or grandchild is at bat, the intoxicating smell of freshly mowed grass, an unexpected hug from a friend, the excited bark of a welcome home greeting and the warm feel and tangy smell of a horse and the soft nudge of her head for a carrot treat – all blend together.
None have a price tag. One or more of these things and many more, give a quality life without a price tag.
Yes, for seniors, when major disease requiring intensive treatment costly to the body and pocketbook is diagnosed, open and honest dialog between the patient and doctor is a vital step to making the right decision for each patient.
If the patient is already under treatment for life altering medical conditions and treatment, the patient must be fully informed of the new estimated treatment, length and intensity of recovery, adding the cause and effect to the existing medications and prognosis.
Who should make the decision? The patient knows when his/her quality life is over. For me, it is when I can no long feel anything but the pain …when the world around me ceases to matter…before I can no longer take care of my personal needs and can’t recover…its time.
I know, understand and approve age and other limits on lungs and organ transplants. I don’t get mammograms, apps or colon tests simply because should any prove positive, I won’t do anything about it.
My doctor and I have already talked about quality of life and she is incredibly wise and informs, yet accepts my decisions about my own health care. My family knows exactly how I feel and it is not their decision, it is my life and my decisions.
It is not your decision either. I think the patient’s doctor and other medical professionals – NOT including the government – need to present the facts to the patient in a kind, straightforward manner and let the patient and medical team make the decision regarding treatment or no treatment.
IF the facts are presented properly and honestly in each case, very few, if any, senior patients would choose to undergo serious surgery, intensive recovery time, loss of ability to care for their own personal hygiene and waste what remains of their time on earth. Each situation is different and individual.
I was once present when an elderly patient was taken to the emergency room. He clearly had dementia, yet was given – it seemed – a test on every new and old machine in the hospital. One scene stands out in memory…the technician reading aloud the instruction booklet as she hooked the patient to the machine. None of the tests were productive. I’m sure it was an expensive visit.
Keep terminally ill folks comfortable … but all these things should be discussed with the PATIENT long before emergencies and urgency cloud the overall issue.
I doubt my grandmother had much quality of life after she
entered the nursing home. Her false teeth were stolen along with
other personal items. She fought to get out of bed and walk until
she was drugged to keep her compliant and easy to care for. Soon
she couldn’t get out of bed by herself and was eventually spoon fed
Quality of life? She was over ninety, did not recognize anyone and had forgotten how to speak English. The grandmother I knew was gone.
Why hadn’t she been allowed to walk and maintain a quality of life? Too expensive?
Keep government out of health care and a single pay. Let the free enterprise system flourish and see the health care costs diminish and patient care increase. Let the insurance companies compete for business across the nation. Allow our system to work and use the system we already have in place to correct and make the needed changes. NOT GOVERNMENT.
Remember the $600 toilet seats government bought and regular folks only paid about $50 for the same seat? How about Social Security? How many years before its bankrupt and the people paying into it now will probably never get to use it?
How has the government run Clunkers worked out for our tax dollar and the economy? Well, a lot of folks bought, free, thanks to the Clunkers program, electric golf carts.
Medicare is government run…is it successful?
The government run Medicare and Medicaid is the reason the medical profession is the only profession I know of in this country that is penalized for being in health care and treating seniors and Medicaid patients.
Patients are cheated, physicians and health care professionals are cheated…and some cheat in return.
Keep government out of the health care business… for your kids’ sake.
No one in this country is denied health care…hospitals have shut their doors before or after the bankruptcy for treating patients without payment. No one is turned away. However, how long can any organization last without revenue?
In addition, ask yourself how long a civilization can last or should last, if their citizens are evaluated and cared for based on dollars not spent?
Frank and open honest discussion with the patient – educate them – will make a difference…not manipulation based on dollars. .
NO to government health care.
More later … Sharon O’Hara