Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Pairadocs

I sent Hardy Wright's post to an internet friend. She and her husband are doctors. I received this reply:

Rick, I don't think this was at all unanticipated by people very familiar with the inner workings of the health care industry, especially those who understand the money flows.

Probably the single most problematic monkey wrench for health care centralizers is that they are counting on a large pool of healthy Americans currently uninsured to switch gears and start paying their tribute to the insurance mafia. The problem is that most of these people are just getting by as it is and can't rationalize paying out $3000 or more a year in premiums (and, typically, the policy includes a very large deductible and sizable co-pays, so, in effect, they can't afford to use it and it becomes, by default, simply catastrophic insurance).

Something related to elderly care cutbacks that concerns me, as I have already observed this trend several times in the last 10 years with family members and friends of our family suffering from terminal or degenerative diseases, is the covert agenda to hasten death in those who should still have a few years or more left to live if given proper care. There is a big push to institutionalize these people in nursing homes or hospice where, without a doubt, their health will rapidly decline from absent or inadequate protocols for the administration of essentials such as needed fluids. From there, they can expect that any sign of discomfort or dementia will be treated with "terminal sedation". Terminal sedation involves sedating patients into a state of unconsciousness so they no longer want to take in food or water and thus die months or years sooner they would otherwise would have. The way this is being handled is highly paternalistic and violates all standards of patient autonomy since patient consent is not a prerequisite. Terminal sedation is easily foisted on patients and family members because most are very intimidated by physicians and usually don't know the first thing about basic medicine having been made woefully medically illiterate by our societal system of dumbing down.

I certainly don't advocate wasteful and expensive health care for the elderly or anyone else, for that matter. What I am talking about is the loss of compassion that reflects rampant greed and self-absorption. It is completely debasing our essential humanity and distorting our view of the importance of family and community.

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