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Thread: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

  1. #111
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Okay, now you have some points that are different from the original basic question.

    Yes, part of the problem is a lot of people get very sick, nearly die, are saved by medical intervention.... but sometimes they don't simply get well and go back to work. They have ongoing issues that may render them disabled. If they lose their job they may lose their health coverage. (COBRA is a joke, if you're unemployed you can't afford to pay four times what you were paying before). They may end up uninsured, but with ongoing medical needs they can't pay for that are needed to keep them alive, or maybe to provide some reasonable quality of life. This describes most elderly person's last 2-5 years of life... but sometimes this can be a younger person and the situation may go on for decades.

    Now, when society ends up paying this person's medical bills.... regrettably yes, there does come a point where the question has to be asked "is it worth it to keep this person alive a few more years at $____ expense?"

    I really hate to say that... it sounds so ugly. Life is so precious it is appalling to have to put a dollar value on someone's remaining years. I lost both my parents in the past few years, so this sort of thing is fresh in my mind... but God knows I cherished the time I had with them, even in their declining years.

    But still, we DO have to make that call at some point. If it is going to take a $750,000 for the treatments to keep Gramma alive in a nursing home bed for maybe another year or two, and she doesn't have the money or assets to cover it.... then we have to stop and think about how much we're asking society to shell out for this, and what the benefit is.

    If $750,000 will restore some person to a productive working life and give them another 15 or 20 years, maybe it is worth it to society.

    OTOH if $750,000 just means that Granny lays in the nursing home bed, struggling for every breath, trying not to take too much morphine for the pain, for another 12 months instead of passing away next week... maybe we have to ask if the time and the quality of life is really worth that much money out of other people's pockets.

    I hate to put it that way; I hate to even think like that. But (no shock to those who know me), let me tell ya a true story...

    My Mom was a little woman with a heart of gold, a whim of steel, and enough courage and determination for a longboat full of Viking warriors. She fought old age like a trooper. When she had to go on oxygen, she carried her small tank with her to the grocery store, the hair salon, church, family gatherings and wherever she wanted to go. She seemed unstoppable.

    But no one is, in the long run. Three years passed and she was no longer able to drive herself. Another year passed and she could barely walk from room to room, and never left the house again except to go to the doctor. Life became a series of health-crises and rides to the ER that she barely survived, growing closer in frequency. She, who had always done for others, decided she no longer wanted to live as a disabled person utterly dependent on others. A few months more and she had another crisis, another trip to the hospital. They wanted to intubate her and put her on a respirator... they told us that this time, she probably wouldn't come off of it and would spend her last weeks like that. We said no... she'd been on it before and hated it. We called in hospice and made sure she was as comfortable as possible, and waited. In a few hours time, she passed away with her family around her.

    I'm pretty sure she preferred it that way; in fact she'd told me things that lead me to beleive that she would've preferred to pass on around the time she couldn't drive anymore, almost two years earlier. The quality of life wasn't worth it for a woman who'd always been a dynamic powerhouse.
    This shamed me, because the previous two times she'd gone to the ER in the past year, it had been because I made her go... she didn't want to, she wanted to die at home.

    Sometimes we hang on past the point of all reason, when what we need to do is let go.

    Anyway... my 0.02

    G.
    I know your entire post makes for a long quote, but I didn't want to butcher it by slicing it up. I, too, am facing my mortality. Like your mother, I'm on oxygen. I've had midnight EMT rides to the ER. I can't walk from room to room without gasping. I'm pretty much housebound except for doctor visits. My husband is quite a bit older than me, and we both know if he goes first I soon won't be able to care for even my most basic needs.

    Am I worth $750,000 in nursing home care for the next couple of years? Hell, no, I am not. My problem is that my government does not give me the option of choosing death with dignity. They will charitably allow me to kill myself, although I'd be arrested or committed at taxpayer expense if I fail. But they will not allow my physician to give me the medication to assure a quick, painless, clean death. So I either put a bullet in my brain, forcing someone to wash the resulting gore out of the walls, or I hang myself, tape a plastic bag over my head... you get the picture.

    I'm not insulted by the "let granny die" crowd. I'm insulted by the "force granny to gasp for every breath in torment for months until she dies" crowd. There's quite a difference!
    Last edited by DiAnna; 09-14-11 at 09:48 PM.

  2. #112
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    If we never "allow" the uninsured to die, then we already have universal health care.



    Everyone at some point falls sick and dies. It is not in anyone's control to make a decision about it. It's gonna happen. Ultimately the only question is to what degree we will demand our neighbors relinquish their property to pay for the efforts to delay this inevitability.
    You guys always talk about how easy it is to raise taxes on someone else. I guess it's equally easy to let someone else's kid die.
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  3. #113
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    No, we shouldn't let them die. We should support private charities that help those who cannot help themselves. We should keep in touch with our neighbors and friends, helping them out individually as needed. My church always gives money to people who need surgeries or other procedures, but they have little to no insurance. It's our duty to help each other, not wave people off and tell them some government official will come help them.


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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellie View Post
    No, we shouldn't let them die. We should support private charities that help those who cannot help themselves. We should keep in touch with our neighbors and friends, helping them out individually as needed. My church always gives money to people who need surgeries or other procedures, but they have little to no insurance. It's our duty to help each other, not wave people off and tell them some government official will come help them.
    I find it so strange that you can hold a position like this, and yet be against socialism. Socialism is about society. That's why it's called SOCIALism. It's about us all pitching in for the common good. It's not about throwing people on the mercy of some faceless government employee. If people need medical care, they go to the hospital, and they get it. That's it. No strings attached.
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    I find it so strange that you can hold a position like this, and yet be against socialism. Socialism is about society. That's why it's called SOCIALism. It's about us all pitching in for the common good. It's not about throwing people on the mercy of some faceless government employee. If people need medical care, they go to the hospital, and they get it. That's it. No strings attached.
    The difference between us is that you think money should be forced by law out of the pockets of those who earned it and given to those who didn't earn it. In your world, citizens aren't charitable, they're enslaved. People aren't working to earn for themselves to do with as they please, they're working just to have the government do with it as it pleases.

    This is what socialists don't understand about charity. Charity isn't merely giving money to people who need it. It's about hearts as well. When you freely give your money to others, it not only changes their financial situation, but it changes their hearts...and yours. In a society where money is forced from your pocket, there is no compassion, just duty. A compassion-less world is not a place I want to live.


  6. #116
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellie View Post
    The difference between us is that you think money should be forced by law out of the pockets of those who earned it and given to those who didn't earn it. In your world, citizens aren't charitable, they're enslaved. People aren't working to earn for themselves to do with as they please, they're working just to have the government do with it as it pleases.

    This is what socialists don't understand about charity. Charity isn't merely giving money to people who need it. It's about hearts as well. When you freely give your money to others, it not only changes their financial situation, but it changes their hearts...and yours. In a society where money is forced from your pocket, there is no compassion, just duty. A compassion-less world is not a place I want to live.
    If it's a choice between middle class people feeling good about themselves by donating money and sick people actually getting the care they need, I think I'm gonna have to go with the health care over the compassion. If you want to help people, become a doctor.
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  7. #117
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    i am grateful to live in a Country that has Universal Health care.

    as i am full time employed i pay a 1.5% income tax levy to support the Medicare system and contribute about $2k per year to my own private health fund which i am allowed to choose to best suit my needs. i can choose my own level of cover and it doesn't matter what State i am in. i can also swap between funds at anytime without penalty or risk of losing benefits as long as i stay on the same level of cover. my Insurance Company cannot cancel my coverage if i get sick as long as my premiums remain up to date.

    if i choose not to have Private Health Insurance then an additional income levy of 1% would be imposed on me and i would be covered under the Medicare system.
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    I find it so strange that you can hold a position like this, and yet be against socialism. Socialism is about society. That's why it's called SOCIALism. It's about us all pitching in for the common good. It's not about throwing people on the mercy of some faceless government employee. If people need medical care, they go to the hospital, and they get it. That's it. No strings attached.
    There's nothing strange about it. People choose to give to charity. They do not choose to pay taxes, at least not without serious legal consequences if they don't pay. I'm not opposed to a small government safety net, but people would be amazed by the ability of non-profit groups and other organizations to help the needy without government. Today people are far more likely to look to government than do something themselves.
    Last edited by DrunkenAsparagus; 09-14-11 at 10:56 PM.
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  9. #119
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    I know your entire post makes for a long quote, but I didn't want to butcher it by slicing it up. I, too, am facing my mortality. Like your mother, I'm on oxygen. I've had midnight EMT rides to the ER. I can't walk from room to room without gasping. I'm pretty much housebound except for doctor visits. My husband is quite a bit older than me, and we both know if he goes first I soon won't be able to care for even my most basic needs.

    Am I worth $750,000 in nursing home care for the next couple of years? Hell, no, I am not. My problem is that my government does not give me the option of choosing death with dignity. They will charitably allow me to kill myself, although I'd be arrested or committed at taxpayer expense if I fail. But they will not allow my physician to give me the medication to assure a quick, painless, clean death. So I either put a bullet in my brain, forcing someone to wash the resulting gore out of the walls, or I hang myself, tape a plastic bag over my head... you get the picture.

    I'm not insulted by the "let granny die" crowd. I'm insulted by the "force granny to gasp for every breath in torment for months until she dies" crowd. There's quite a difference!

    Thank you for sharing that, it took courage to put that out here among the sharks. My respect.

    Sometimes some hard decisions have to be made. The hospice people told us that giving Mom morphine would probably make her more comfortable, but might reduce her respiration and shorten the hours/days she might have left; then they left the decision to us. I and my sisters talked about it for a few minutes and decided that the kindest thing we could do was give her lots of morphine and not drag things out. It was a heart-wrenching decision but we felt it was kindest. I told them to remember that I wanted the same if I was ever unconscious and beyond help.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers, Dianna.

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  10. #120
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Thank you for sharing that, it took courage to put that out here among the sharks. My respect.

    Sometimes some hard decisions have to be made. The hospice people told us that giving Mom morphine would probably make her more comfortable, but might reduce her respiration and shorten the hours/days she might have left; then they left the decision to us. I and my sisters talked about it for a few minutes and decided that the kindest thing we could do was give her lots of morphine and not drag things out. It was a heart-wrenching decision but we felt it was kindest. I told them to remember that I wanted the same if I was ever unconscious and beyond help.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers, Dianna.
    You absolutely did the right thing. Absolutely. My condolences on your loss, and thanks for your good wishes.

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