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Old 12-07-2015, 07:26 PM   #21
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Can't remember if it was the book 'Knocking on Heavens door' or an NPR series about a grown child taking care of her parents. The father had a pacemaker put in, then suffered medically for years before passing and bankrupted his wife in the meantime. But mostly it was about the loss of decision making by the family. The mother denied 'calling the ambulance' which would have just taken her to the hospital to die. She died at home with family. There has to be a decision made of where one wants to spend there final days, and if you enter the hospital, it's difficult to extricate.
But then you look at Jimmy Carter and see what that he has been cured of cancer when most would have given up. Then they keep Bobbi Kristina on life support for months. Tough decisions.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:48 PM   #22
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Why 75? Since I'm going to live to be 120 due to being a type 2 diabetic on Metformin, cutting back on medical care at 75 seems a little silly.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:04 PM   #23
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My Father and his Father both had Parkinson's . Both suffered the effects about 8 years. Same for my uncle on the other side of the family. Miserable existence, especially the last 2 years for each of them, at least from what I witnessed.

Medical science treated their multiple other ills, both chronic and acute. Did it alleviate suffering ? I can't answer for them, but what from what I witnessed , I say no.

I can't agree with a specific age , like 75? . We all begin "Rapidly Ageing" at a different point in life.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:22 PM   #24
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It is almost a given it will happen at some point. Euthanasia is legal and practiced in other countries. It may start like this "Gramps, why not just take these pills so you can pass on your assets to us"

At least if you are in the 'right' state, you can smoke medical marijuana to help...
I disagree! It isn't at all "a given".
Euthanasia is legal, but it isn't the insurance company making that decision.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:32 PM   #25
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I am 77, and these have been the best years of my life. I remarried after my wife of 30 years passed away, and we have traveled a lot of the world together.
I fly for Angel flight and Pilots & Paws, volunteer on a tourist train, prepare taxes for low income people, and do data entry and data reduction for a local food bank. I also counsel widows and widowers on a grief recovery website.
"Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be"
That is so uplifting! Thank for posting

I couldn't find a "Hi, I am.." entry for you, though I've enjoyed reading your blog. Welcome.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:50 PM   #26
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My Mom is 99 and until this year she has had a good quality of life . She had total knee surgery at 92 and did great . She has refused certain testing because she has no intentions of having surgery or chemotherapy at this stage . I really feel there is no set age for stopping medical treatment . We all know our own bodies and what is reasonable .I hope to be feisty & refusing a Colonscopy at 75 but not ready for the big farm.
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:18 PM   #27
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I hope the insurance plans mandate some sort of alternative care if they go this route. You really don't want to be telling the grandkids "Grandpa turned 75 today. He's going to be living on a farm upstate where he can run and play."

Ouch! Exactly what I was told about my pooch when we had to move when I was a little kid. There must be a lot of dogs (and grandpas) "upstate"!
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:38 PM   #28
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The article has the following:

"Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel made an important announcement last year. He hoped to die at 75...

No, he’s not going to commit suicide. What he plans to do is less— less medical testing and care. He will embrace nature rather than fight it. He’ll do this rather than extend life through extreme measures, going through elaborate testing and by declining heart pacemakers, major surgery, etc."


Old age and death is a popular topic here due to demographics. I recall a few years back, someone referenced an article saying that "Doctors die differently". In a nutshell, doctors know about the limitation of their profession, and recognize when their chance to survive a terminal illness is too slim to fight it in vain. I am sure they are also not as enthusiastic about "longevity pills" as the public is. Being experts, they know better.

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This story is from August of this year. Gill Pharaoh was a 75 year old british nurse who was not ill, but chose to end her own life in order to avoid the difficulties of aging. She went to an accompanied suicide clinic in Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, and citizens of other countries are accepted.

Gill Pharaoh died at Swiss suicide clinic because she didn’t want to be a burden | Daily Mail Online

Switzerland has struggled with their own laws surrounding this, but is committed to continuing the provision of these services.
I read the article. It is a very unusual case because Miss Pharaoh had suffered some physical impairments, but these were normal for her age and not debilitating, and she knew it.

She wrote
Day by day I am enjoying my life. I simply do not want to follow this natural deterioration through to the last stage when I may be requiring a lot of help. I have to take action early on because no one else will be able to take action for me.

The above is sad, because it did not have to be this way. Being a palliative nurse, she had seen many patients being kept alive against their will. So she was taking a preemptive action to end her life before she was incapacitated. If she were able to make a call to end her life later, I believe she would have lived on many more years.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:59 AM   #29
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The mother denied 'calling the ambulance' which would have just taken her to the hospital to die.
Everyone should know that if there is no plan to take extreme measures to prolong life, they should not call the ambulance. They should call their local hospice organization. Medicare will cover 24 hour nursing, and a load of stuff the patient might need to be comfortable (given the patient qualifies, of course, but it's not real hard to qualify if the patient is really on the way out). The hospice teams deal with this all of the time and are usually really good at it. Last week my dad realized they just couldn't fix him this time; in and out of the hospital many times, and various systems teetering on the edge. Luckily he knew what was going on and was able to make the decision himself, along with my mom. I'm sure it would be harder if the advance directive had to be used. Anyway, after a few days of hospice at home, he left us. No beeping, not connected to a bunch of machines, in his own bedroom, no excitement, just family and the hospice nurse.
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:35 AM   #30
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Sorry for your loss, sengsational. You and he were both fortunate in how it worked out.
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:44 AM   #31
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I disagree! It isn't at all "a given".
Euthanasia is legal, but it isn't the insurance company making that decision.
Not yet... It will happen as euthanasia becomes an accepted healthcare measure. It will be adopted faster as healthcare gets even more expensive and scarce.

Euthanasia will be an option, or a primary recommendation from the healthcare companies. It is even happening for infants with birth defects in some countries. I am not sure if they have an age limit, but that will be expanded too.

There are many things in healthcare that start as an 'experiment' and become mainstream. In 20-30 years, I suspect euthanasia will be a listed coverage.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:31 AM   #32
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Is euthanasia really needed? To stop prolonging misery, is it enough to withhold treatment or intubation?

In Time magazine, a while back at the time of the national debate about universal healthcare, I read an article describing how expensive some last-ditch efforts in cancer treatment could cost. A terminal cancer patient in his 40s wanted to extend his life at any cost, and in exchange for a few months of life left behind a bill of $500K for his wife and kids. If this happens now, insurance will pick up the cost. But then people complain about their high insurance premium.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:42 AM   #33
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Is euthanasia really needed? To stop prolonging misery, is it enough to withhold treatment or intubation?
I think euthanasia is an easier sell. Pick your time, on your own schedule, before it is too late. It can be a nice planned event, like a wedding. You can be surrounded by friends as you plan it a few months in advance. It will be like a big birthday event in the future. You can skip the last year or so to avoid a bad quality of life.

The insurance company might even pick up the tab and give a bit to a foundation or heirs in order to save money, much like medical tourism.

Euthanasia will be cheaper than heart surgery or other treatments.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:55 AM   #34
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Some may want to refer to the discussion that took place here when the Atlantic article came out a little over a year ago "Hope to Die at 75".

Not surprisingly some believe the longer they live the better come what may, while others were not keen on more poor quality years at the end. Unfortunately it's easier to speculate while we're far from our last years.

Many geezers will chose to be kept alive at any level of cost, pain or aggravation just to win the bet they made when they delayed SS to 70!
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:05 AM   #35
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I think euthanasia is an easier sell. Pick your time, on your own schedule, before it is too late. It can be a nice planned event, like a wedding. You can be surrounded by friends as you plan it a few months in advance. It will be like a big birthday event in the future. You can skip the last year or so to avoid a bad quality of life.
We're working on it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia_in_Canada

Liberals ask Supreme Court for 6-month extension to write doctor-assisted dying law - Politics - CBC News
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:10 AM   #36
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We're working on it.
Exactly. Once Dr. assisted suicide becomes legal across all states, it will only be a matter of time before it becomes "the thing to do". It may even be an alternative to LTC insurance.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:10 AM   #37
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I don't have any desire to rack up a bunch of costs to prolong my life, and I don't think it's fair for me to expect others to pay for end of life costs (as you do now).

I hope euthanasia is an option before I reach that age. With a few reasonable qualifiers, I don't see why anyone would object - no one is asking others to be euthanized, it's solely the patients choice.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:33 AM   #38
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It's interesting that in Oregon, where I live, there has been a "death with dignity" law in effect since 1998 which is effectively euthanasia with some legal preconditions. There are relatively few takers however. http://public.health.oregon.gov/Prov...nts/year17.pdf
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:44 AM   #39
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It's interesting that in Oregon, where I live, there has been a "death with dignity" law in effect since 1998 which is effectively euthanasia with some legal preconditions. There are relatively few takers however.
+1

I think the concept of euthanasia presents a wonderful option to a subset of the population who see it as a neat, clean, painless end. But for most of us it holds little more than a theoretical interest. The will to live is very strong - thus even those who seek euthanasia rights aren't likely to 'take advantage' of the option even when it is available.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:50 AM   #40
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Not yet... It will happen as euthanasia becomes an accepted healthcare measure. It will be adopted faster as healthcare gets even more expensive and scarce.

Euthanasia will be an option, or a primary recommendation from the healthcare companies. It is even happening for infants with birth defects in some countries. I am not sure if they have an age limit, but that will be expanded too.

There are many things in healthcare that start as an 'experiment' and become mainstream. In 20-30 years, I suspect euthanasia will be a listed coverage.
You're a real cynic, Senator! Glad to have you here to keep us from getting unrealistically optimistic
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