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November 24, 2009
'60 Minutes' segment shows that suffering is bad business
Government controlled health care is being rammed down our throats. This "60 Minutes segment on The Cost of Dying" is helping to soften the blow.
Steve Kroft interviewed Dr. Ira Byock who was offering a monetary reason to hasten death when he stated on the show on Sunday,
This is the way so many Americans die. Something like 18 to 20 percent of Americans spend their last days in an ICU," Byock told Kroft. "And, you know, it's extremely expensive. It's uncomfortable. Many times they have to be sedated so that they don't reflexively pull out a tube, or sometimes their hands are restrained. This is not the way most people would want to spend their last days of life. And yet this has become almost the medical last rites for people as they die.
Families cannot imagine there could be anything worse than their loved one dying. But in fact, there are things worse. Most generally, it's having someone you love die badly.
Asked what he means by "die badly," Byock told Kroft, “Dying suffering. Dying connected to machines. I mean, denial of death at some point becomes a delusion, and we start acting in ways that make no sense whatsoever. And I think that's collectively what we're doing."
Dr. Byock peppered his talk with “This is not the way most people would want to spend their last days of life.” When this assertion is matched up with everything else he said, he makes it pretty clear that he wants doctors or bureaucrats to make all the decisions for end-of-life care based on cost analysis.
Pain and suffering do not kill—disease and death panels do. Doctors should know these simple facts of life, but those who propose euthanasia always use emotional arguments when pushing their agenda.
In another segment of the show,
Meredith Snedeker's 85-year-old mother spent her last two months shuttling between a nursing home and community hospital in New Jersey, suffering from advanced heart and liver disease…."I can't tell you all the tests they took. But I do know that she saw over 13 specialists," Snedeker told Kroft.
“You think they were running up the bill to make money? Or running up the bill or giving her all these tests because they really thought it might help her? Or to cover their…rear?" Kroft asked.
"Yeah, to cover their rear," Snedeker replied.
Duh, has anyone ever heard of tort reform to reduce the amount of tests?
So, if end-of-life decisions are made by government officials based on how much it costs to keep the machines running or how many tests should be run, very few people will have a say in whether they get to live a couple of days or months longer than the death panel has promulgated. This is the whole point of Obamacare: reduce costs by telling a patient she really doesn’t need to live any more.