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Old 12-09-2015, 07:32 PM   #61
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What I expect is that the default kind of treatment will change to pallative after a certain age, so you have to ask for aggressive treatment. In particular I could see this before the go for research level drugs to treat a disease.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:11 PM   #62
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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 did not read his article that way. He might have sounded ambivalent at some points, but I understand him as saying that if something happens to take his life after 75, he will not regret it as not having a full life. And if he stays healthy and alive after 75 with no help from medicine, he will be happy with that too. In other words, if he makes it to any age past 75, nobody should say that he dies young.

Emanuel cited the following statistics.

Eileen Crimmins, a researcher at the University of Southern California, and a colleague assessed physical functioning in adults, analyzing whether people could walk a quarter of a mile; climb 10 stairs; stand or sit for two hours; and stand up, bend, or kneel without using special equipment. The results show that as people age, there is a progressive erosion of physical functioning. More important, Crimmins found that between 1998 and 2006, the loss of functional mobility in the elderly increased. In 1998, about 28 percent of American men 80 and older had a functional limitation; by 2006, that figure was nearly 42 percent. And for women the result was even worse: more than half of women 80 and older had a functional limitation. Crimmins’s conclusion: There was an “increase in the life expectancy with disease and a decrease in the years without disease. The same is true for functioning loss, an increase in expected years unable to function.”

What modern medicine has done is to give longevity, but not the quality of life to go with that longevity. Many posters here express a desire to live long, then drop dead with a sudden and catastrophic illness. Me too. But the statistics show that our chance of getting that is slim, compared to a drawn out and miserable end of life. It is the same as not all of us will beat the stock market.
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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.
...
Great. Those are the people who may live to 100 and beyond. But if I will be sitting in a wheelchair or being bedridden at 80, I don't think I will wish to last till 100. YMMV.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:34 PM   #63
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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.
It's this kind of stuff that actually makes me reconsider how much I should exercise or watch what I eat. Not being funny here. It must be terrible and beyond frightening to be totally incapacitated or nulled out by Alzheimer's but under the hood still quite robust and in no immediate danger of dying.

I'd rather just have the heart attack while mowing the lawn or be told I have six months to live and just make the arrangements and fade out in a hospice all doped up.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:35 PM   #64
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Great. Those are the people who may live to 100 and beyond. But if I will be sitting in a wheelchair or being bedridden at 80, I don't think I will wish to last till 100. YMMV.
I think it's just as likely those folks are one a sudden decline trajectory. I remember the 80 year old hiker joking that he had three stents. I could see both people being active a few more years then poof.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:42 PM   #65
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OK. These people are lucky either way. I hope I will be like that. By the way, if I need a stent at 75, I will go for it, if the rest of me is still good. Same with a new knee or hip.

I think it is the same as with an old car. Do you want to do an engine rebuild on a 1980 Malibu that has all fenders and floor board rusted out, seats all torn, and dashboard all cracked up?
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:01 PM   #66
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My son and I go to a neighborhood bar once a week and play $20 bucks worth of pull tabs. My son was playing partners with an 85 year old friend of mine that is a regular there. He goes there 6 days a week and has his 3 CB 7's. I only dream of being in as good a shape as him IF I reach that age.
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:12 PM   #67
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...
What modern medicine has done is to give longevity, but not the quality of life to go with that longevity.
Can't blame it all on medicine. People have to take responsibility of the quality of their life - all through their lives.

2/3rd of the US population above 20 is either overweight or obese. I think modern medicine has failed to convince people to internalize exercise and good diet. I think we need drugs that make people exercise and eat well

I have friends who are overweight, have high cholesterol and blood pressure, but are still sedentary and have bad eating habits. However, meds keep their blood pressure and cholesterol under control, so they think they're fine. And these are pretty smart people in other aspects of their lives.

FastStats - Overweight Prevalence
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:21 PM   #68
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Yes, what you said jibes with the statistics right above the sentence that you quoted from my post. I just did not want to bring it up.
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:28 PM   #69
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Can't blame it all on medicine. People have to take responsibility of the quality of their life - all through their lives.

2/3rd of the US population above 20 is either overweight or obese. I think modern medicine has failed to convince people to internalize exercise and good diet. I think we need drugs that make people exercise and eat well

I have friends who are overweight, have high cholesterol and blood pressure, but are still sedentary and have bad eating habits. However, meds keep their blood pressure and cholesterol under control, so they think they're fine. And these are pretty smart people in other aspects of their lives.

FastStats - Overweight Prevalence
They/we are just doing our best to live a life we enjoy, followed by sudden (hopefully later) death without long years or decline. Somebody has to try to lower the costs of long term care. It's the "healthy" ones that hang around and up the costs.
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:43 PM   #70
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So, which group of people die a lingering costly death vs. a nice, quick, and cheap death? The "healthy" people or the unkempt? Does anybody have some statistics?

I recall that my former boss used to say that cigarette smokers did not cost much for healthcare, because lung cancer killed fairly quickly (no, he was not a smoker, and lived to the 80s). I don't know if he was right or not.
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:18 PM   #71
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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.
Routine blood tests are cheap.

Or, if your doc is monitoring an "issue," the blood test is not considered to be routine and therefore can be done more frequently with Medicare paying.
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:27 PM   #72
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... 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.


.

The point of staying alive to win the "take SS at 70" bet isn't to enjoy spending the money. It's to be able to post on the FIRE forum that you're still alive at whatever you calculated the breakeven point to be and boast to everyone that you won and it's "all gravy now!"
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:28 AM   #73
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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.
It is not so. Emanuel has been spending his career thinking about ethical issues in medicine and public policies, so his position has been published over the years. Medicine, as anything else in life, cannot be "all one can eat". For example, the source for liver transplant is limited, and a rationing system is needed because we cannot get more livers. Someone has to think about the policy.

I only learned about Ezekiel Emanuel from this thread, so looked for more info on Wikipedia.

The following is a brief summary of his credentials.
Ezekiel Jonathan "Zeke" Emanuel (born 1957) is an American bioethicist and fellow at the Center for American Progress. He opposes legalized euthanasia, and is a proponent of a voucher-based universal health care.

Emanuel completed an internship and residency at Beth Israel Hospital in internal medicine. Subsequently, he undertook fellowships in medicine and medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and is a breast oncologist...

Since September 2011, Emanuel has headed the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, under the official title Diane S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor.

From Wikipedia, I cull the following points on where he stands.
... said that universal health care could be guaranteed by replacing employer paid health care insurance, Medicaid and Medicare with health care vouchers

... allow patients to keep the same doctor even if they change jobs or insurance plans

... supports Obama's plans for health care reform, even though they differ from his own

... end discrimination by health insurance companies in the form of denial of health insurance based on age or preexisting conditions

... reject a single-payer system, because it goes against American values of individualism

... distinguished between basic services that should be guaranteed to everybody from discretionary medical services that are not guaranteed


On euthanasia, Emanuel's position is found in the following points.

... said that the kind of legalized euthanasia practiced in the Netherlands would lead to an ethical "slippery slope" which would make it easier for doctors to rationalize euthanasia when it would save them the trouble of cleaning bedpans and otherwise caring for patients who want to live

... also expressed the concern that budgetary pressures might be used to justify euthanasia if it were legal

... said that claims of cost saving from assisted suicide are a distortion, and that such costs are relatively small, including only 0.1 percent of total medical spending
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:16 AM   #74
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Routine blood tests are cheap.



Or, if your doc is monitoring an "issue," the blood test is not considered to be routine and therefore can be done more frequently with Medicare paying.

So, if I'm reading this right, I can make an appointment with the lab, not the doctor, and get random blood tests? I'd be willing to pay for more frequent testing. I feel preventative testing is cheaper in the long run.


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Old 12-10-2015, 09:56 AM   #75
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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.
My grandfather chose his end about the same way. Fell over off the couch with a massive heart attack (not his first or second one) and told my grandma not to call the ambulance, that this was it, he was gone. I think he was in his mid to late 70's. He hated hospitals, hated the recovery process, and had probably spent more time in and out of hospitals and doctor's offices than he had actually living in the past couple years prior to his death.

Grandma chose hospice when her time came a couple years ago. No real chance of recovery if they were to do an operation to try to save her, and odds are she wouldn't even wake up from the procedure.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:32 AM   #76
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...a drawn out and miserable end of life...
For a minute there I thought you were talking about w*rk...
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:41 PM   #77
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So, which group of people die a lingering costly death vs. a nice, quick, and cheap death? The "healthy" people or the unkempt? Does anybody have some statistics?

I recall that my former boss used to say that cigarette smokers did not cost much for healthcare, because lung cancer killed fairly quickly (no, he was not a smoker, and lived to the 80s). I don't know if he was right or not.
It's hard to know, when the articles contain stupid sentences like "All the cheeseburgers, cigarettes and channel-surfing Americans enjoy certainly take their toll: Unhealthy lifestyles account for up to 40% of all deaths in the U.S." I guess that means healthy lifestyles account for the other 60% of deaths. Ack!

I don't know if it's the final word or anything, but this was an interesting article in Forbes - Alcohol, Obesity and Smoking Do Not Cost Health Care Systems Money. If you follow the links in the article you can see some of the actual science. I tend to believe it's true, but not so sincerely I couldn't be convinced to change my mind with better facts.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:21 PM   #78
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Wow! That article in Forbes points to another article here, which says:
In 2008 the Dutch government looked into the cost of treating people from the age of 20 to death. They had three categories, the healthy, obese and smokers. The results were not what the health gurus were looking for, the paper says:

“Until age 56 annual health expenditure was highest for obese people. At older ages, smokers incurred higher costs. Because of differences in life expectancy, however, lifetime health expenditure was highest among healthy-living people and lowest for smokers. Obese individuals held an intermediate position. Alternative values of epidemiologic parameters and cost definitions did not alter these conclusions.”

The lifetime costs were in Euros:
Healthy: 281,000
Obese: 250,000
Smokers: 220,000
Then, it occurs to me that the above numbers are just medical costs. The healthy cost society even more in the form of longer SS that they draw. Darn!


PS. By the way, this is another data point showing that the hope of healthy people to die quickly and cleanly is not supported by statistics. If you are healthy, it's gonna take a long time to die and that makes sense. What a thing to look forward to!
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