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View Diary: New Poll: Doctors favor Medicare payment for futile treatment. (34 comments)

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  •  Hmmmm, (12+ / 0-)

    Futile to me is a treatment that would not prolong the patient's life. A given treatment may not do that but may ease symptoms, making the final days easier.

    After my mom was diagnosed with inoperable cancer last year, the doctors advised that she have some chemotherapy to ease her symptoms (breathing and eating problems). We were all clear that Mom was dying. Mom was looking forward to be with Dad again after almost 8 years. She had two chemo therapy sessions, and they did help her symptoms, but the last didn't as much as they had hoped so the treatments were stopped.

                      Just my two cents,

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:07:11 PM PST

    •  What you descrive is differentiated from... (4+ / 0-)

      futile, which has no value except maybe a "miracle" occurring.  This poll was not meant for public distribution.

      •  My family's experience. (10+ / 0-)

        In March my father-in-law was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Just two children: my wife & her sister. The two women & their husbands (me & bro-in-law) got together soon after & I suggested the four of us meet with doctor to ask: how much will radiation or chemo or both extend my FIL's life expectancy? What will side effects of treatment be--how much will they affect quality of life for better or worse? My sis-in-law immediately shut that down: "He's my father, and I just want him treated." So he had chemo & radiation for awhile.

        My sis-in-law at the time was in her final semester of nursing school. So I expected her to have a bit more analytical perspective. If it's too much to expect from her, it's probably too much to expect from most people.

        FIL quickly blew through the donut hole, and after that Medicare or Medigap covered everything. The Medicare paperwork says the chemo & radiation cost the taxpayers over $10,000 a month.

        The tumor continued to grow, so they finally stopped treatment in June, I think. My father-in-law passed away in early July.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:47:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  weird motivations (1+ / 0-)
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          I wish I could understand these motivations.  Am friends with an elderly couple, he in the final stages of alzheimer's. When he became too hard for his 85yo wife to care for he was moved to his daughter's residence for her to take over care.  Contrary to his medical directive (DNR) and wife's wishes the daughter had a feeding tube installed when he started refusing food.  So now their assets are being dissipated by the daughter who is demanding they continue to pay for full time care.

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