(Your) Death and (my) Taxes

April 2nd, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

This posting is from someone whom we shall call “Alice” for the simple reason that “Alice” is indeed her name.   It came in via email and Iam not sure whe wants her last name used.

Alice suggests changing the rule where a hospital resuscitates a dying patient who “codes” unless the patient has signed an advance directive not to resuscitate, to exactly the opposite:  no “heroic” measures to extend life unless the patient has signed an advance directive specifically to do that.   No change to the choices people are allowed to make, but someone has to “opt in” to resuscitation.  Obviously if they care enough about it, they will take the time to sign an advance directive.

This is probably not practical now, but with  the electronic medical record initiative, it will be far easier for an emergnecy room to determine someone’s preference in very short order from a central data bank.

Since 27% of Medicare spending (meaning our taxes) goes to the last year of life, one could infer that some of that goes to extending the lives of people who don’t want their lives extended, but who failed to file the necessary paperwork to prevent it.

200-120
210-260
200-310
SY0-401
810-403
300-320
400-101
70-533
N10-006
MB2-707
210-060
400-201
350-018
ADM-201
CISSP
1Z0-060
400-051
300-075
MB2-704
100-101
9L0-012
642-999
300-115
MB5-705
70-461
1V0-601
300-206
352-001
70-486
300-135
NS0-157
PR000041
300-101
70-346
CCA-500
70-480
300-208
70-462
EX200
1Z0-803
EX300
ICBB
1Z0-808
AWS-SYSOPS
1Z0-434
300-070
CAS-002
220-801
SSCP
PMP
642-997
70-410
101-400
ITILFND
AX0-100
2V0-621
102-400
101
1Z0-067
220-802
70-463
C_TAW12_731
70-494
CISM
700-501
NSE4
NSE7
70-483
70-488
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6 Responses to “(Your) Death and (my) Taxes”

  1. RR Says:

    Huh? This is the most stupid idea that I’ve head in a little while

  2. RRisstupid Says:

    I don’t see what’s so stupid about it. We spend a large amount of money keeping people alive. Just unfathomable how much of our healthcare spending gets spent on essentially nothing. This is a great idea. ThinkOOB is back in form!

  3. reader Says:

    RR, you should look at The Dartmouth Atlas and see how much gets spent on healthcare for the last year or two of life. If someone wants to be kept alive at the end, they should have to ask for it. Just too too expensive to assume someone wants it

  4. incensed Says:

    My mother was kept alive when she didn’t want to be because no one could find her advance directive. I am sure the hospital made good moeny on my mother’s suffering. Would this prevent that?

  5. dblacklock Says:

    I think the idea is good. Al, you mentioned in another area the idea of taking away the financial incentive for hospitals to encouage everyone to be so aggressive in critical care. That may be true but there is also the incentive for everyone involved, but especially doctors and hospitals to avoid be sued for their failure to be aggressive. This would need to be addressed before you would ever get much change, along with the financial disincentive.

    DB

  6. Cyberfool Says:

    Personally I want my Doctor to be compassionate and competent whether they are treating a 75 year-old Alzheimer patient, or a 20 year-old Motorcycle rider!

    Yes the person who wants to die to alleviate their pain Now has the option to file a DNR order, but in my opinion the Doctor should have the right to protest the decision but only if the patient is able to debate the issue face to face.

    But by no means do I want my Doctor checking with ANYONE before trying to resuscitate ME! Maybe it is because I’m only 42, perhaps I’ll feel differently in 30+ years, but if that is the case Then I will file a DNR, not before.

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