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Thread: Should there be reasonable age limits for healthcare

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Should there be reasonable age limits for healthcare

    Before accusations of death panels, I’ve been observing what goes on around me and I am thinking what I am seeing is financially unfeasible to sustain.

    For example, I know a wonderful 77YO man with numerous medical problems subjecting himself to round after round of radiation, chemo and meds with continued deterioration. After the initial treatments, which did not touch the disease, I was quite surprised he continued with more and more treatments. And the physicians continue on with them.

    Should there be some kind of limit to the treatment if there is no hope of remission?

    our medical system leaves a lot to be desired, obviously. Many surgeons are unwilling to take on the most risky patients, due to age, weight, diagnoses like uncontrolled diabetes or respiratory problems. Transplant lists are very closely scrutinized due to organ shortages to make sure organs go to those most likely to be able to live on. Do those types of restrictions need to be expanded? What are our moral and legal obligations as a society?

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    Since in your example, weight, diabetes, and respiratory problems are all medical issues, I don't understand what you are saying, as it sounds like you feel medical treatment should not be provided if one has certain medical issues.
    Perhaps I am not understanding your post?

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Setting the costs aside, why should we, society, limit the treatment of adult humans who wish to get treatment? In this case the guy’s physician should have great influence, that and the man’s family, to a lesser degree.

    As you describe it, I think painful, hospitalized treatment that goes no where is stupid. But the devil is in the details, and if the patient is informed and the treatment sincere, why is that anyone’s business?

    This does not address the $ cost to society.On that topic, there is nothing wrong with death panels, OF COURSE scarce medical resources are rationed. That is my business as a taxpayer.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Our moral and legal obligations are to provide the most good.

    The devil is in the details for making that happen.

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Since in your example, weight, diabetes, and respiratory problems are all medical issues, I don't understand what you are saying, as it sounds like you feel medical treatment should not be provided if one has certain medical issues.
    Perhaps I am not understanding your post?
    age limits on aggressive treatments not likely to produce a positive outcome to quality or length of life.

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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Our moral and legal obligations are to provide the most good.

    The devil is in the details for making that happen.
    exactly. And who makes that decision. This is just an observation I have made and I wonder what other countries do that have better control of their costs? Besides eliminating the middle man, should there be age limits as I stated in my reply to Tybee?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    age limits on aggressive treatments not likely to produce a positive outcome to quality or length of life.
    Why age limits? If the "aggressive treatments are not likely to produce a positive outcome to quality or length of life", why should there be an age limit? If a 65 yo and a 5 yo have the exact same disease and the exact same prognosis and the exact same non-positive outcome, shouldn't their aggressive treatments be limited the same (or not limited the same, for that matter)?
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    exactly. And who makes that decision. This is just an observation I have made and I wonder what other countries do that have better control of their costs? Besides eliminating the middle man, should there be age limits as I stated in my reply to Tybee?
    Who makes the decision is the patient and his doctor.

    They will make decisions you dont like.

    Humans on the daily make decisions I dont like about their own lives. Sadly, I am not Queen and so I do not get to command them to do otherwise. Conversely— happily, I am not Queen and I dont have the burden of determining their life choices.

    I think a huge problem with your “age limit” is the one-size-fits-all nature of it. That is why a Death Panel, a jury of people, is a better choice.

    Hospitals have Ethics boards that review problematic treatment plans for patients. Arbitrary rules do not cover all of the nuances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Who makes the decision is the patient and his doctor.

    Hospitals have Ethics boards that review problematic treatment plans for patients. Arbitrary rules do not cover all of the nuances.
    You might be surprised how few doctors discourage "heroic measures". You might be surprised how many families scream "save her, save him". You might be surprised how few cases go to the Ethics board. You might be surprised that DNRs are not always followed. You might be surprised how few people know what a DNR is and that they really should have one until they wake up in the ICU intubated and are angry about it.

    Healthcare is fraught with issues. Rules should not be made with age stamps. A 60yo female hip fracture may get repaired and never walk again. And then there was my 94yo male who needed to get back to his garden at home so fix me dammit-he said with a smile.

    Or my employee whose husband broke his back in 2006. Surgery after surgery, he would not heal. Could not work. He hit his $million healthcare policy max (before the ACA). Now what? 60yo......

    I could go on and on....but I won't. Not possible to summarize what I've seen in my 39y career.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    You might be surprised how few doctors discourage "heroic measures". You might be surprised how many families scream "save her, save him". You might be surprised how few cases go to the Ethics board. You might be surprised that DNRs are not always followed. You might be surprised how few people know what a DNR is and that they really should have one until they wake up in the ICU intubated and are angry about it.

    Healthcare is fraught with issues. Rules should not be made with age stamps. A 60yo female hip fracture may get repaired and never walk again. And then there was my 94yo male who needed to get back to his garden at home so fix me dammit-he said with a smile.

    Or my employee whose husband broke his back in 2006. Surgery after surgery, he would not heal. Could not work. He hit his $million healthcare policy max (before the ACA). Now what? 60yo......

    I could go on and on....but I won't. Not possible to summarize what I've seen in my 39y career.
    sure, for human services such as health there is no One Answer, as your many examples point out. An arbitrary age limit on a service isnt the answer.

    I am not at all surprised by your assertion that doctors like heroic measures. That was covered in my idea that humans will often make choices I think are stupid.

    We get to make choices for ourselves, and that is the way it should be, within reason. I thin we are, today, within reason but rising public healthcare costs could and should temper that.

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