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Old 12-08-2015, 12:05 PM   #41
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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.
Incorrect. Euthanasia will be an option, and even encouraged only for people without enough money. Ergo it is a distribution problem not a health or insurance problem
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Old 12-08-2015, 01:03 PM   #42
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Incorrect. Euthanasia will be an option, and even encouraged only for people without enough money. Ergo it is a distribution problem not a health or insurance problem
People are treated/kept alive against their specific wishes all the time, that's one of the main reasons end-of-life costs are high in the USA, it's not simply a "distribution problem." My MIL left a sizable estate, and she spent the last 2-3 years of her life in misery. My parents quality of life is very poor - they have had enough at 93, but they will also leave a considerable estate. They're not depressed and don't dwell on it, but they are ready to go by their own admission.
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Old 12-08-2015, 01:58 PM   #43
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Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel made an important announcement last year. He hoped to die at 75. Born in 1957, thatís easy for him to say. His chosen death date would be in 2032. Thatís a long way off, by most standards.

Personally, I view his notion with some alarm. Tomorrow is my 75th birthday.

So Iím hoping we can talk about this, preferably for a long time. Best known as one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Emanuel let us know his hope in an entirely lucid Atlantic Monthly article.
What jumped out at me was that Dr.Ezekiel Emanuel was an architect of our new all-inclusive health laws and how quickly he appears to be attempting to turn the conversation to limiting life.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:56 PM   #44
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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!
... even though it is hard to spend that SS money on something enjoyable when you are bedridden and poked full of holes where they insert tubes.

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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)...
Eventually, it will be all "fair" when we pay more for Medicare tax to support all this end-of-life cost. Nurses and orderlies don't like to work for free. So, we cannot really complain about health care costs. We've got to pay for what we want.

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There are many things in healthcare that start as an 'experiment' and become mainstream.
Yes. In the old days, people die without tubes attached to them. Now, that would be a rare sight.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:26 PM   #45
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It would have been pointless since the action had already been taken, so the issue was moot.
The letter might have stopped further heroics. (Was it a catholic hospital/) All be it the church does not require maximum life extension efforts.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:53 AM   #46
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No way I want to die at 75, that's only 7.5 years away. I look at my mid 80s siblings and conclude that I have a few more enjoyable years than that. Dr Emmanuel does have a point that many of us get overly concerned with the minutia of health care - unneeded tests, chasing numbers with potent drugs with weak absolute benefits, etc. Like many others, what I would like is to stay fairly healthy and active (treating breaks, cataracts, and the like) and then decline rapidly when my time comes (fall off a cliff, massive heart attack, whatever). Unfortunately, that last part is a crap shoot. There is no good way to insure that you don't suffer a debilitating stroke or drawn out cancer. Advanced directives can help avoid prolonging the demise but even suicide in a state like Oregon gets out of reach if you become unable to act on your own. The upside is that advances in palliative care seem to be addressing some of the worst aspects of drawn out deaths, if you get stuck with a bad hand..
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:45 AM   #47
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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.

My 93-year old parents didn't enjoy their last few years at all, and they were still living independently at home. And my MIL spent a few years in assisted living then nursing homes - and hated almost every minute of it. She passed away bitter, unable to recognize her own family. That's not living to me. I know I will be looking for the exits if I'm ever institutionalized with no expectation of release at all. To each his/her own...
I missed the above thread, and just now read the referenced article.

The "Die at 75" title was misleading and was perhaps intended to draw attention. What the author meant was that after 75 he intended to let nature run its course and will not try to extend his life "at all costs" as many people tend to do.

In his words,
"if I am not going to engage in euthanasia or suicide, and I won’t, is this all just idle chatter? Don’t I lack the courage of my convictions?
...
Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won’t actively end my life. But I won’t try to prolong it, either."

So, his approach is a passive one, and totally unlike that of British nurse Miss Pharaoh who took a preemptive move to end her life when she had no terminal illness.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:02 AM   #48
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I just turned 65 and I'm now on Medicare. I think the beginning may start at 65 not 75, after my first encounter with Medicare. Maybe I don't understand Medicare enough, at this point in time, but as far as preventative blood tests offered I feel I won't get the same level of care as I did before Medicare. My doctor saw me every six months for blood work, keeping an eye on cholesterol and other areas that encouraged me to live a healthier life. Now on Medicare I will see him once a year unless "something comes up" that I need to see him.

It appears that routine blood work won't be done and cholesterol will only be tested once every 5 years. Joy


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Old 12-09-2015, 09:06 AM   #49
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I just turned 65 and I'm now on Medicare. I think the beginning may start at 65 not 75, after my first encounter with Medicare. Maybe I don't understand Medicare enough, at this point in time, but as far as preventative blood tests offered I feel I won't get the same level of care as I did before Medicare. My doctor saw me every six months for blood work, keeping an eye on cholesterol and other areas that encouraged me to live a healthier life. Now on Medicare I will see him once a year unless "something comes up" that I need to see him.

It appears that routine blood work won't be done and cholesterol will only be tested once every 5 years. Joy
While that may be all Medicare will pay for, you can have all the tests you want as long as you're willing to foot the bill.

Yeah, I know - Joy.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:23 AM   #50
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...Now on Medicare I will see him once a year unless "something comes up" that I need to see him...
My mother who's in her 80s always has "something coming up", and I am sure she sees her doctor more often than that. A lot of her ailment is just old-age related, but she keeps hoping there's a pill she can take that will put her back 20 years.

PS. By the way, as I have to pay all costs until I meet my deductible of many thousand dollars, I get to see all the bills. It's amazing to see some blood tests costing as little as $14. Yes, that is everything, including the blood drawing and the tests. So, I thought to myself if I could order the tests myself. I can read and understand the test results and do not really need my doctor unless some numbers come up bad.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:30 AM   #51
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Amazing how many people still want to argue whether age 75 is too young or not - completely missing the point. Age 75 was deliberately chosen to provoke you to read the article, and it did exactly that as the editors intended. Hopefully some folks actually read the article and grasped the larger point...
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:32 AM   #52
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Amazing how many people still want to argue whether age 75 is too young or not - completely missing the point. Age 75 was deliberately chosen to provoke you to read the article, and it did exactly that as the editors intended. Hopefully some folks actually read the article and grasped the larger point...
+1

People often do not bother to read the referenced articles, and prefer to attack their favorite strawman with vigor and conviction.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:46 AM   #53
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<large snip>My Mom is 92, still drives, just put up her Christmas tree and goes to Panera bread every Sunday to have coffee with her friends. She is still handling the care of a friend that is younger but has Alzheimer's and needs to have her accounts managed to pay for her assisted living, so my Mother meets with the attorney and CPA to care for her friend. I hope to be as healthy as her in thirty more years!
So, you are not really "rdy2go".
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:39 AM   #54
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DW and I are a few months from medicare and will welcome gladly monthly costs cut in about half. As far as what it won't cover, I don't have a clue. MIL died at 89 and the hospitals and doctors loved her to the tune of probably $200,000 her last few years and she never paid any deductibles or copays thanks to ~$200 a month supplemental. Going to the doctor was like a welcome chance for social interaction (beyond DW and me who were caregivers). I was always amazed at how willing the medical establishment was to go to any lengths to serve her despite obviously deteriorating chronic conditions.

It's no wonder mc is in trouble given the incredible benefits offered to those who are nearing end of life IMO. Three out of four of our parents definitely had the bulk of their healthcare monies spent in the last few years of their life and I'd argue that their quality of life was pretty poor. Their attitudes towards assisted suicide varied from my father (bring it on!) to MIL who believed until her last breath that if she could only find the right doctor and the right medications....
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:32 AM   #55
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There was a thought exercise I went through that helped add a little clarity for me.

It helps if you actually do this, rather than just read about it: Take a pencil and draw a horizontal line on a paper representing the entire duration of your life. Now draw a vertical mark on where you think you are in your progress. For instance, a young, healthy, safe person would put a mark toward the left, whereas an old, unhealthy, unsafe person would put a mark toward the right.

Now, immerse yourself in the idea that time has passed and you are nearing the end of the line. Pretend that's where you really are, right now. You're getting closer and closer to the end, to that last grain of graphite. What would you be willing to spend to add a few more grains? You can't take it with you. And, as indicated above, with a supplemental policy, everything is "free" anyway, so you might as well keep things going.

Right now, if you compare your quality of life with someone who's quality of life has been declining a long time, it's easy to say "by the time I get there, I'll call Kevorkian!" But by the time you get there, you'll be comparing quality of life with yesterday or last week, and it won't seem as bad. Maybe you need 24 hour care, but you can still watch TV. That might be enough.
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Old 12-09-2015, 02:58 PM   #56
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...MIL died at 89 and the hospitals and doctors loved her to the tune of probably $200,000 her last few years and she never paid any deductibles or copays thanks to ~$200 a month supplemental. Going to the doctor was like a welcome chance for social interaction (beyond DW and me who were caregivers)...
My sister once accompanied my mother to her doctor's appointment, although my mother is still capable of driving herself (she gets out of the house every single day, while we ourselves do not if there's no need). My sister told me the same thing you said, after she observed elderly patients in the doctor's office.

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... It helps if you actually do this, rather than just read about it: Take a pencil and draw a horizontal line on a paper representing the entire duration of your life. Now draw a vertical mark on where you think you are in your progress. For instance, a young, healthy, safe person would put a mark toward the left, whereas an old, unhealthy, unsafe person would put a mark toward the right.

Now, immerse yourself in the idea that time has passed and you are nearing the end of the line. Pretend that's where you really are, right now. You're getting closer and closer to the end, to that last grain of graphite. What would you be willing to spend to add a few more grains?..
When people get near the end of the line, I think most would grab the pencil and try to extend the end of that line. And once they run to the edge of the paper, they will glue on another page and want to keep drawing.
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Old 12-09-2015, 04:53 PM   #57
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Let's see if someone posts here after making a decision to stop extending life and seeing it through completion.
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:01 PM   #58
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Let's see if someone posts here after making a decision to stop extending life and seeing it through completion.
Now that is something that would make me seriously reconsider some of my operating assumptions!
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:13 PM   #59
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I am probably jaded by my limited family experience, but I feel like 85 would be fine for me. One set of grandparents both died around that age and were pretty healthy until the end. My other grandmother went into a nursing home with Alzheimer's at 80 and lived miserably with no memory until she finally passed at 94. My uncle, who is 86, has 24 hour care at home (my aunt won't put him in a home), and on the few ocassions he is lucid, he tells her he wishes he had the strength to kill himself. It is awful for them both. No thanks.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:31 PM   #60
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I don't see why people are saying 75 isn't the point. Seems like Dr. Emanuel spends a lot of time explaining that specific target and saying that he hopes to die then, not just that he doesn't intend to get any more care.

I can't identify with the Dr. Emanuel target of 75 as an ideal time to die, even though he has a boatload of statistics that are meaningful to him to back his arguments. To me - there is a lack of imagination. It reminds me a bit of those people who see retirement as useless and can't get beyond the work ethic. He is so focused on creativity, originality, productivity. Why can't someone just take it easy for the last decade of their life and enjoy watching the sunrise and sunset, and occasional family visits. What's wrong with that?

Know too many vigorous people in their 70s, still enjoying life, family, etc., especially being grandparents. It would be a tragedy for those folks to blink out so soon, IMO.

Most people do slow way down in their 80s. But I have known a few still vigorous. Hike 10 miles up several thousand feet with someone 80 one. An 82 year old on a recent trip had not trouble keeping up even at 10 miles a day walking historical sites.

At 75, if I am still healthy, that's the time I'll be looking at assisted living and transition planning for moving into assisted living (if unhealthy - this will have already happened). In my 80s I will definitely pull back on the routine preventative medical care. Hopefully by then I will have already had any joint replacements if needed, or eye operations. I only hope I can talk the doctor at the assisted living place/nursing home not to give me all sorts of pills other than vitamins.
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