Saturday, July 18, 2009

The "Culture of Death" will be accentuated by Obamacare

Vanishing American discusses the healthcare bill in "Time to be concerned" here. I've added a comment under the article in which I respond, by first hand experience, to one of VA's prescient comments concerning the undoubted effect of the bill.

I wrote:

...particularly those whose judgment is clouded by age or illness or medication, will find themselves signing agreements to forgo resuscitation in the event of some medical crisis,...

I know from first hand experience that this already happens with more frequency and less resistance (from the only people who can legally put up an effective resistance) than one would care to admit. Not once, but twice I've personally stood in the way of this or otherwise alerted people that had the power to stop it. Both instances involved aggressive family members of the victims bent on accelerating their respective deaths. In one case I was actually banned from visiting the individual in question under the pretense that I was "upsetting" him too much, making his imminent death unnecessarily uncomfortable for him. I was threatened with physical removal from the hospital and everything else. Nonetheless I was persistent in the fight, and we finally won. And alas, my friend yet lives a normal productive life in spite of it all. And that was two years ago. Once we were able to get him off the high doses of drugs they were daily giving him, his recovery soon followed.

Anyway, you're right, the healthcare bill will most certainly create a situation in which we'll see this kind of thing happening with much more frequency.

A few of my occasional readers will know something of the two incidents I've alluded to above. Fewer still understand the minute details of the individual cases. While I don't really care to get into all of it here, I will say that I learned some very valuable lessons in the first go-round which better prepared me to deal with the situation in the second (which was actually a lot more intense than the first), not the least of which is that family members do not always have the best interests of their ill relatives in mind, in spite of the appearances they give off. They're very good at what they do too; very manipulative, very deceitful in their show of concern only for the "dying" victim of their schemes. Indeed, I can say without the slightest hesitation that often they want them dead, and the quicker the better. For various reasons not necessarily related to some monetary reward they're expecting, but that's a motivation too. I can say too that these people are very aggressive about the way they seek to accelerate their deaths, and they will "out" anyone who presumes to stand in their way. These kinds of people are evil, and in their cases blood damn sure isn't thicker than water.

The moral of the story is simply this: Be extremely cautious about who you trust to oversee your medical care, including blood relatives. Choose them wisely while you're still in relatively good health and a state of mind unaffected by large doses of potent medications. Believe me, the advice is both warranted, and well placed.


Anonymous said...

"Euthanasia" is always a euphemism, but the way it gets done in modern medicine distorts the basic sense of the term beyond all recognition. Tying a young women to a bed and dehydrating her to death without even administering a sedative...and we have people complaining about water-boarding.

Well, in the end, it only takes a moment with a syringe full of morphine. I have a certain relative who should be in prison for any number of reasons, her "termination" of her mother because she just couldn't handle listening to her breath anymore is not even near the top of the list. But at least she used a drug instead of crushing her mother's windpipe or something.

Any sane person could have predicted this woman would do something like that (the nurse apparently thought she just stole the drugs for personal use...which I suppose is technically true). Why she was left unattended like that is beyond me.

But, getting to the end-of-life cost figure, they're actually artificially inflated by the fact that doctors like to use experimental treatments, particularly those which might have dangerous side effects, on people who are going to die soon anyway. Sometimes this is ethical and reasonable, like attempting radical new heart-surgery on patients who are simply too old to qualify for transplant and cannot live off constant life support. Usually such things are controlled and carefully done.

But a lot of the pharmaceutical treatment they give older patients is drugs to counteract the side-effects of other drugs that are themselves being used to counteract something...often when all the drugs are halted it turns out that the first drug in the chain wasn't doing any good anyway. But many doctors like to "get a feel" for new drugs by trying them on patients they see as high quality guinea-pigs with automatic reimbursement paperwork.

These are not controlled clinical studies with ethical guidelines and accountability. This is just doctors playing pharmacopia on a patient's body and dime. To be fair, doctors do need to gain experience with new drugs somehow or other...but the way health insurance is set up invites abuse.

Generally speaking, it is best to stay out of the hospital if at all possible, particularly once you get old enough to provoke the "Ooo, end of life patient, let me get my new toys!" response.

But this Obama care monstrosity actually makes it harder to do that by dramatically limiting the care options available to most people. And those options won't be available to anyone once they fail for lack of market. You won't have to worry about being pumped full of drugs you don't need, but being condemned to a lingering death because the treatment you need isn't "cost-effective" isn't much fun either.

It is an unalterable truth about mortality that the demand for life-extending health care will always outstrip the supply. The only way to ameliorate this basic fact of life is to leave people in charge of their own health care. Let individuals come to terms with the inevitability of their own deaths based on their own limitations when it comes to gathering the means to extend life.

Freedom is all that makes life worth living, or at least makes it significantly different from not being alive. How does it make sense to abolish free choice in lifesaving care? On the other hand, what we're really talking about her is imprisoning people while Obama makes a decision about whether to kill them.

Which makes more sense, but probably sounds worse.