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Medical Futility

Posted by Curt Anderson 
Re: Medical Futility
September 28, 2014 12:47AM

Even when the patient is capable of input, should their wishes to pull-out-all-the-stops in avoiding the inevitable outweigh the doctors' who can see the futility of their case?

I do not think this is a major concern... The vast majority of us follow doctors orders, even if it means we are losing a loved one. This isn't the kind of overutilization that really contributes to higher health costs either... But, should there be death-panels? No.

There should be death education. Doctors getting more involved in end-of-life planning.

If you don't have the means your most likely not going to get the treatment you are referring to and if you do have insurance and the money to afford the out-of-pocket expenses then you have a right to get any treatment that is medically necessary and written in the contract you paid for...
Re: Medical Futility
October 07, 2014 06:46AM
Tonight on the Daily Show, the guest was Atul Gawande. He is a doctor and talked about his book "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End" From what he said in the 7 minute interview with Jon Stewart, he is in perfect accord with what I advocated in this thread. Counter-intuitively, he said that fatally ill people who forego the expensive, high-tech medical procedures to extend their lives actually live 25% longer!

Here is a link to his book and a description which says in part "Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit." []

Catch his interview on the Daily Show if you can.

Re: Medical Futility
October 28, 2014 11:08PM
In college I rented a room from a doctor who told me his job was to basically put terminal kids to sleep. He called it "snowing" them. The kids had incurable cancer - he would ease their pain as long as possible, but he said at the end he was basically putting them to sleep the same way you put down a pet that's reached the end. So "death panels"? We've had them for years.
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