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View Full Version : A look at 'healthcare'



George Jung
06-20-2010, 03:23 PM
I believe we've discussed this, at least tangentially. Ran across this in the Times - sometimes an educated public can make the case better.


One October afternoon three years ago while I was visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She had just poured me a cup of Earl Grey from her Japanese iron teapot, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two cardinals splashed in the birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. “Please help me get Jeff’s pacemaker turned off,” she said, using my father’s first name. I nodded, and my heart knocked.

Upstairs, my 85-year-old father, Jeffrey, a retired Wesleyan University professor who suffered from dementia, lay napping in what was once their shared bedroom. Sewn into a hump of skin and muscle below his right clavicle was the pacemaker that helped his heart outlive his brain. The size of a pocket watch, it had kept his heart beating rhythmically for nearly five years. Its battery was expected to last five more.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/magazine/20pacemaker-t.html?pagewanted=1&hp

It's a 6 pager; it's C & P; but it's worth a read/

paladin
06-20-2010, 03:50 PM
Apparently a Vietnamese lady.....

Bobby of Tulsa
06-20-2010, 04:16 PM
People are sure different. My aunt would have been standing there with jumper cables. With her it was never say die.

Keith Wilson
06-20-2010, 04:36 PM
Damn, what an article.

Continuing medical treatment and keeping a person alive under those circumstances is complicity in torture, just as if the cardiologist had pulled out the patient's fingernails with pliers.

As a society we do a pretty good job with medical care from normal-term birth through most of life. But very early and near death, we do some absolutely horrific things with the very best of intentions (not to mention specularly wasteful).

When the time comes, I'm going to get myself one of those orange bracelets. Death is inevitable. Living like that isn't.

Captain Intrepid
06-20-2010, 05:31 PM
My grandfather has been in hospital for a few months now, after falling and breaking his hip. He's gone downhill quite a bit in the last couple days, and is going to die very soon, very possibly today. The last few months though, have taught me what a horrible thing it is to linger, and what a terrible thing it is to prolong someone's life beyond a certain point. Even pushing someone to eat when they refuse.

SamSam
06-20-2010, 06:07 PM
My grandfather has been in hospital for a few months now, after falling and breaking his hip. He's gone downhill quite a bit in the last couple days, and is going to die very soon, very possibly today. The last few months though, have taught me what a horrible thing it is to linger, and what a terrible thing it is to prolong someone's life beyond a certain point. Even pushing someone to eat when they refuse.
Life and death are incomprehensible. I take comfort in the realization that it is a common experience, I am not the only one, or the first or the last. Regards.

paladin
06-20-2010, 06:12 PM
I made my intentions very clear.....

Captain Intrepid
06-20-2010, 06:13 PM
I made my intentions very clear.....

One of the things that really shocked me in that article was the very clear statements that a surgeon would not operate on a patient with a DNR, and that paramedics would ignore a valid DNR. That just seems incredible to me.

George Jung
06-20-2010, 06:19 PM
It's definitely a case of YMMV; what's missing from that exchange is the Drs. input; it may have unfolded quite differently than we're seeing in this article.
FWIW, the scenario wouldn't have played out that way with the docs we use.

paladin
06-20-2010, 06:56 PM
My doctors actually want one in place....all my doctors/nurses ask if I have one and may they have a copy....I tell them to look in their files.....been there since I was first hurt. They kept me on morphine for the first 6 months after the car accident, and I had a constant nurse/therapist/caregiver in the house at all hours.

Ron Williamson
06-20-2010, 07:28 PM
My dad had a DNR for a few years before cancer got the best of him.
He told me the same thing regarding the paramedics,but he and the docs were game for any guinea pig operation/treatment that he had the strength for.
R