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
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
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
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
Why hadn’t she been allowed to walk and maintain a quality of life?
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
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’
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
This blog post was an answer to a post on Rob’s blog and