There are two sides to the coin.  In the previous post I wrote about how ObamaCrapCare will intervene and make choices for us.  I don’t believe that it is the government’s place to be making these decisions.  I also believe that I have a responsibility to make an informed choice when it comes to my health.

I also posted a very interesting article from WSJ about how physicians die in the comment section. Their approach is fairly simple.  They have seen it all and for the most part would prefer to live a life of quality.  Money doesn’t usually factor into their decision.  I would like to share some of the comments from many who are physicians.  Yes, the comments are very telling.

I loved this article. I have practiced Medicine for 37 years and been involved in hundreds of terminal care situations. At 65 years of age I live a robustly active and healthy life. But have no desire at all for the Chemo, radiation, salvage surgeries and other end of life interventions I have observed so often. Having been present at countless deaths over the decades, I have no fear of that transition. I am living fully and expect to die in due course. Dying does not frighten me. But being at the mercies of my oncology colleagues scares the hell out of me!      posted by Jerry Mixon

Every single universal health care system rations care. Because when something is “free” there is unlimited demand and very limited supply. Why do Canadians come to the U.S. for care when it is “free” in Canada. Because they have to wait weeks and months for care that we receive in a day or a few days at most. We do not have free market health care here. We have government price controlled health care, government dictated insurance coverage and insurance provided by employers because it was a way to get around government wage controls during WW II. Also with government meddling in insurance we do not have transportability of insurance that stays with an individual no matter where he/she lives. We do have market based car and property insurance and it works very well. Our health insurance system does not work because of government meddling and now with Obama care they are planning to meddle even more to fix the mess they created in the first place. Someone probably not nearly as clever as you said something about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result was insanity. Try to have some facts when you post rather then just regurgitating a bunch of meaningless drivel that you picked up reading the NYT or listening to NPR.  posted by Michael Ellison

We also need to get the lawyers out of medicine as well. Malpractice lawsuits add a fortune to the cost of health care.  posted by Cathy Maxwell

i’m an internal medicine physician and have seen firsthand how most chemo does not prolong life more than a few months. there are only a few types of cancers that actually respond significantly or are cured by chemo. most often, the effects of chemo are worse than letting the disease run its course. people should focus on the quality of what time they have left.    if you have 6 months to live, do you want to spend it in the hospital? all in hopes that you will get another 2 months to live. which will probably also be spent in the hospital?   posted by Rama Bommaraju

There must be trolls, so a response is in order.

Troll. People of means do not come here for medical services because the medical services are poor. They come because we have the best in the world. Your medical stats are just folly. A major factor in the cost of medicine in this country is that we have been subsidizing the rest of the world with a disproportionate share of R&D and retail drug subsidies (we pay a disproportionally higher price than the rest of the world because we can afford it).

Your beloved socialist medicine will stop the advancement just as we are on the verge of major medical breakthroughs (primarily through DNA sequencing and biomedical engineering). It takes money to advance any science. You socialist/communist are all about consumption, not advancement. It’s sickening.     posted by Greg Sellers

Personally, I view reaching the “average” life expectancy age of a man in the U.S. as my goal and every day beyond is gravy. If I haven’t reached my goal, I’ve give the long odds of intense treatment to prolong my existence some serious thought. If I’m in the “gravy” category, less thought is necessary. But that’s just me. I accept the fact that death is not a matter of if but when.    posted by Neil Sarri

The response from the WSJ writer to Neil Sarri.

One thing that I find troubling in your comment, is the implied statement that we should do interventions for the good of scientific progress and breakthroughs in medicine. As physicians, we have an overriding legal, moral, and ethical obligation–and that is absolutely and soley to the patient involved. We must NEVER make that obligation secondary to some other goal. I know that in the past, things were done, and are still done, for “teaching purposes” when no benefit will accrue to the patient. That is wrong. If we want to do something we have to actually obtain informed consent…..not consent based upon giving a patient or family a snow job sufficient to meet our, but not their, needs.

I’m sure you understand and agree with that, but the wider audience might get the wrong idea from what you’d written.

How do you do that consult within the breadth of a fifteen minute consult constraint?    We know that time is money.   I’m not being sarcastic.  I do know that fifteen minutes with a family that wants to keep a family member alive may not be listened to.  We all love our families and in a time of crisis, how do you calm yourself long enough to hear what is important to that individual (whether it is yourself or another)?