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Husband kills sick wife due to costly meds
Old 05-20-2016, 01:49 PM   #1
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Husband kills sick wife due to costly meds

This story has been bothering me terribly. They were poor, had declared bankruptcy in 2011, and the wife's medication cost more than they could pay. The 86-year-old husband was her constant caregiver, and obviously he cracked under the strain.

Isn't Medicaid meant for exactly this kind of situation? There is nothing in the article about the couple seeking Medicaid assistance.

https://www.rt.com/usa/343504-elderl...fe-medication/
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:58 PM   #2
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The medicine was costly, but the text of the article said he killed his wife because of the pain she suffered.

This reminds me of a French movie I watched recently: "Amour" starring Jean-Louis Trintignant. This movie won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Movie in 2012.

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Old 05-20-2016, 02:05 PM   #3
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Isn't Medicaid meant for exactly this kind of situation? There is nothing in the article about the couple seeking Medicaid assistance.
Florida does not extend Medicaid coverage to adults unless they are receiving SSI.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:33 PM   #4
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I watched it too. It's very hard to watch. The difference with the Florida case is that the sick woman in the movie was not in pain - in fact, she was brain-dead, but legally her body had to be kept alive and cared for.

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The medicine was costly, but the text of the article said he killed his wife because of the pain she suffered.

This reminds me of a French movie I watched recently: "Amour" starring Jean-Louis Trintignant. This movie won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Movie in 2012.

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Old 05-20-2016, 02:34 PM   #5
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that's terrible
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:48 PM   #6
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That is incredibly sad.

There's many folks who slip through the cracks. A friend of mine who's 40 something DW passed from cancer told me some of what he saw as she was hospitalized for close to a year. He claimed many of the people he met had to make the choice between medicine and food. He's started a charity to help folks who are in that situation.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:52 PM   #7
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It's important to write advance medical directives to at minimum give your loved ones peace of mind they are doing as you prefer. Me? I don't want my brain-dead body with no reasonable hope of recovery being kept alive via machines or similar extreme and costly efforts.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:04 PM   #8
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Me? I don't want my brain-dead body with no reasonable hope of recovery being kept alive via machines or similar extreme and costly efforts.
I'm not sure I feel that way. At what IQ level do we decide that there is no value whatsoever in life, to the person living that life? I do not ever want anyone ending my life supposedly as a favor to me (really to THEM), no matter how low my cognitive functions.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:20 PM   #9
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I watched it too. It's very hard to watch. The difference with the Florida case is that the sick woman in the movie was not in pain - in fact, she was brain-dead, but legally her body had to be kept alive and cared for.
No, as I recall the woman in the movie was not brain dead, but she was mostly incoherent, yet cried out in pain quite often ("Mal, mal..."). Money was definitely not the issue raised in the movie.

As for this Florida case, I read carefully, and only in the caption of the photo that it was hinted that this was a case of mercy homicide. So, I took back what I said earlier. And the husband was honest in saying that his wife never said she wanted to die.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:24 PM   #10
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I'm not sure I feel that way. At what IQ level do we decide that there is no value whatsoever in life, to the person living that life? I do not ever want anyone ending my life supposedly as a favor to me (really to THEM), no matter how low my cognitive functions.
This does not apply in this Florida case, because the wife was conscious and not even incoherent. This is a real tragedy.

However, in the case of a brain-dead person, why is hooking all kinds of tube for artificial life support the proper thing to do? That's not at all natural from my viewpoint.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:33 PM   #11
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This does not apply in this Florida case, because the wife was conscious and not even incoherent. This is a real tragedy.
And if she really wanted to die, (as per the article) she could have done it herself!

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However, in the case of a brain-dead person, why is hooking all kinds of tube for artificial life support the proper thing to do? That's not at all natural from my viewpoint.
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:38 PM   #12
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Florida does not extend Medicaid coverage to adults unless they are receiving SSI.
I'm not sure I understand that MichaelB.

I've been working with a friend who lives in Fla to help him understand options for receiving help with medical expenses. He receives SS (Not SSI) and he has his Part B and Part D paid for him and qualifies for a Fla program called "Medically Needy" which seems to be working like Medicaid.

He had an emergency surgery in January and hasn't had to pay anything after referring the bill collectors to the agencies involved.
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:38 PM   #13
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I'm not sure I feel that way. At what IQ level do we decide that there is no value whatsoever in life, to the person living that life? I do not ever want anyone ending my life supposedly as a favor to me (really to THEM), no matter how low my cognitive functions.
I think you may be conflating two separate things here. You mentioned IQ - which has nothing to do with brain-death...
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:11 PM   #14
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This Florida couple did not know how to ask for financial assistance. And then, the husband finally cracked under the pressure of taking care of his wife.

We will know more when the husband undergoes psychological evaluation.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:28 PM   #15
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I'm not sure I understand that MichaelB.

I've been working with a friend who lives in Fla to help him understand options for receiving help with medical expenses. He receives SS (Not SSI) yet he has his Part B and Part D paid for him and qualifies for a Fla program called "Medically Needy" which seems to be working like Medicaid.

He had an emergency surgery in January and hasn't had to pay anything after referring the bill collectors to the agencies involved.
We have some friends (actually, parents of friends) that use that program. They were on Medicaid / Medicare, but Florida changed eligibility and they found themselves no longer eligible for Medicaid and unable to pay Medicare. Under Medically Needy they are eligible for assistance once they meet a minimum contribution, called "share of cost" that they are required to pay. In their case they cannot meet their share of cost on a regular basis, so they lose coverage.

Like many in their situation, they were able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage program that has a very low premium. It's a limited network but gives them health care, but no pharmaceuticals. Getting full coverage of Medicare B and D premiums is not that common.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:50 PM   #16
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Getting full coverage of Medicare B and D premiums is not that common.
That's interesting. At the time of his January surgery, my friend had only Medicare Part A for med insurance. During the release procedure at the hospital, he told them he wouldn't be able to pay and a counselor helped him with forms to begin programs where Part B and Part D is paid for him. I think the Part D program is called Extra Help. Later at home, he received information about the Fla Medically Needy program.

Since the surgery, he's called everyone who bills him (his free Part B was not in effect at the time of the surgery) and tells them he can't pay, gives them his Medicare number and information about the Fla programs he's in and that seems to do it. At least so far....... He reported that only the ambulance company folks were even "grouchy" about the situation.

It's only been a few months since the surgery so I suppose there is still plenty of time for the bill collectors to arrive on the scene, but so far, so good. He does clearly fall into the "you can't get blood out of a turnip" category.

I hope the situation improves for your friends' parents. Perhaps their income is too high? (It doesn't have to be very high to not qualify for programs!) My friends reports only about $15k of SS.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:55 PM   #17
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Perhaps you have to be truly indigent before you can get help.

My friend has two nephews who got cancer in their 30s. One had skin cancer, and the other had colon cancer. This was before Obamacare. They did not have insurance, but applied for assistance, got treatments, and are still alive now many years later.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:00 PM   #18
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I do not ever want anyone ending my life supposedly as a favor to me (really to THEM), no matter how low my cognitive functions.
Definitely a good reason to get an Advanced Directive, to make sure your wishes are followed if you can't speak for yourself.

Of course, if you couldn't speak for yourself, we'd all be in mourning.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:27 PM   #19
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However, in the case of a brain-dead person, why is hooking all kinds of tube for artificial life support the proper thing to do? That's not at all natural from my viewpoint.
In a hospital I worked in, the brain-dead person was the source of income for the family. He received pension as long as he was alive. So while he did not get great care from the family, they did not want him to die.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:40 PM   #20
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That is incredibly sad.

There's many folks who slip through the cracks. A friend of mine who's 40 something DW passed from cancer told me some of what he saw as she was hospitalized for close to a year. He claimed many of the people he met had to make the choice between medicine and food. He's started a charity to help folks who are in that situation.
Amen!!

My husband suffered and died from Acute myloid leukemia. After chemo he became neutropenic and need two shots a day to help his white blood cell production. even with two major health insurance the drug was 100 bucks a shot. so 200 bucks a day over 13 months, (not straight) well you get the picture, Not to mention the myriad of other charges that come along like 250 a month parking fee because the hospital did not give free parking even to patients.

Now I never had to make the choice between food or medicine, thank
God but I can tell you I was one of those nave people who thought that with once my deductible was met I was ok.

I know differently now. I can attest to the feeling of utter hopelessness
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