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View Diary: Science Friday: The Breath of Life (138 comments)

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  •  End-of-life concerns is a great topic for discuss (7+ / 0-)

    I know my dad's last weeks were a nightmare in the hospital. The procedures to keep him going seem barbaric--do you know how many people die with limbs amputated in their last few weeks that only give a short reprieve? Hell, I hope I don't die suffering from an amputation added on in the last month as "treatment".

    I have doctors in the family, and their point is that the most money is spent on prolonging the last few weeks of life. Hundreds of thousands to help someone live an extra two weeks--lying mostly drugged in a hospital.

    I say we spend money on research for cures, but also on research on how to make the last weeks of life more humane. Spend money on hospices, and life and death would be much better. Or for those who can, at home (with excellent nursing care). Imagine how much more relief a nurturing, attentive, non-stressed nurse (with narcotics in hand) can bring to the patient and family, instead of some strong drug that simply prolongs the inevitable?

    •  If we thought about our pets (0+ / 0-)

      In general, I suspect most of us do a much better job of weighing cost of treatment, quality of life etc. for our pets than our system does for people.  We could probably learn some things about managing the cost of healthcare by looking at how people make decisions about their dogs.  My dog is fourteen and I adore him and I spend a good chunk of money on pain medicine for his  arthritis every month, but if he were to get cancer next week I'd probably spend what it takes to keep him comfortable and put him to sleep when his suffering becomes too great.

      And I hope if I were to get cancer in my eighties or nineties that someone would give me similar consideration...

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