Many U.S. patients get treated to death

Many U.S. patients get treated to death

There are 17 comments on the Long Beach Press-Telegram story from Jun 27, 2010, titled Many U.S. patients get treated to death. In it, Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that:

Alexandra Drane's photo of sister-in-law Rosaria Vandenberg is a remainder to the organizer of a website that promotes dying at home that time spent with family is more important than getting just a few more days of life through painful medical therapies.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Whats what

AOL

#1 Jun 28, 2010
Does anyone proof read this stuff anymore?
Robert J G Jackson Sr

Westminster, CA

#2 Jun 28, 2010
Isn't it interesting how many articles have sprung up regarding us receiving too much medical care, all since the passage of the President's Medical Care bills? Suddenly, we are having too many mammograms, too many PSA tests, too much radiation. Suddenly early detection is no longer so important to those with cancer, and may even be detrimental in many cases. According to this article, people are hospitalized way too much in their final days. In the last year, medicine has been turned on it's head. Are any of you asking why? Just look at how much information has been put out since the passage of Obamacare about you receiving too much medical care. There is an obvious reason. Guess who's going to be writing the checks starting in a couple of years? And the money actually comes out of your own pocket.
It is Me

Anaheim, CA

#3 Jun 28, 2010
This is pro Obama care propaganda. The media foisted the criminal in the White House upon us and they continue to try to fool us. Obama care will lead to shortages and refusal to treat ailments. This is just setting us all up to accept the destruction of quality health care in America. By saying that we are given too much medical help, the evil media and Obama supporters (read: blind, stupid lemmings) are laying the ground work for the lessening of available medical services ObaMao and his criminal cohorts have designed into their nefarious plans.
Placeboman

AOL

#4 Jun 28, 2010
I try not to have anything to do with the "health care system" anymore and have become my own doctor for all intents and purposes. If the government would completely get out of the business I'd probably get more interested in it again--I just can't stand the way people have just become numbers and liabilities to be shuffled in and out as quickly as possible while legal assessments are made as to what must be done. I may die sooner than I otherwise would but I can't take the BS involved anymore. I just want to be left alone. Fat chance of that happening with the new government plan I'll have to pay for whether I use it or not.
weaseley

United States

#5 Jun 28, 2010
Every body I know that has ever been diagnosed with cancer has died before their second chemo treatment, and all these people were family and friends from 30 years old to 80 years old and no one could handle radiation being put in their already weakened bodies. I am glad that someone has finally addressed the overdosing issue I call it "murder by medicare" and if my time comes I would rather spend all my money on a bucket list vacation than 5 dollars on a cancer treatment!
Placeboman

AOL

#6 Jun 28, 2010
weaseley wrote:
Every body I know that has ever been diagnosed with cancer has died before their second chemo treatment, and all these people were family and friends from 30 years old to 80 years old and no one could handle radiation being put in their already weakened bodies. I am glad that someone has finally addressed the overdosing issue I call it "murder by medicare" and if my time comes I would rather spend all my money on a bucket list vacation than 5 dollars on a cancer treatment!
Couldn't agree more. Everyone is petrified they won't be adequately insured or get what they pay for, etc. but the fact is that insurance means little to the Grim Reaper. I have almost no confidence in radiation or chemo as therapies. I'm into preventive behaviors--dietary mostly. Today's supplements allow for a lot of important tweaking on the various bodily systems. I read a lot about it and get tests done through the same labs my doctor would have sent me to. The internet and library allow me to analyse the results in far greater depth than my doctor would ever have time to do.
I'm not going to live forever. I don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time freaked out about access to a system that's no longer worth it to me. Neither my grandparents or their ancestors ever had insurance. Several lived to be over 100.
Like a straggler in the desert I appeal to you all, don't worry about me, go on and save yourselves. Just don't take my water.
getusedtoit

Huntington Beach, CA

#7 Jun 28, 2010
This phenomenea is just a part of human nature. It's the same reason people buy houses they can never afford, have kids they can't afford to raise, etc. Most people are irrational, and believe in magic.
Many of us don't articulate it in religious ritual in this society, but the rituals are there. Buy a credit card. Buy insurance. When the time comes, they will save us from the dark random forces that are seemingly out of our control.

People die. Some horribly. Every day. Why not you?

Because, unlike the average folk, you're magic?
Placeboman

AOL

#8 Jun 28, 2010
getusedtoit wrote:
This phenomenea is just a part of human nature. It's the same reason people buy houses they can never afford, have kids they can't afford to raise, etc. Most people are irrational, and believe in magic.
Many of us don't articulate it in religious ritual in this society, but the rituals are there. Buy a credit card. Buy insurance. When the time comes, they will save us from the dark random forces that are seemingly out of our control.
People die. Some horribly. Every day. Why not you?
Because, unlike the average folk, you're magic?
I'm not sure if maybe you're talking to me or not. Probably not. But if you are, then, why yes, I'm magic. I will eventually die, however, as a sort of last trick. I am free to end things in my own way and time if things get too nasty. Painful, I mean. I do not mean to be held hostage by insurance companies and governments and the like. It's hard to run out the clock when dealing with infinity. Occasionally I think about the logistics and ways and means but hope that some solution presents itself in a timely fashion if/when the need arises.
Someday I may be coming out of a bakery with some nice freshly made baguettes and simply drop dead on the sidewalk. That would be nice, I suppose. But then we have no control over these things. God has his little secrets and perverse pleasures known only to himself. Herself. Itself.
Dean Willoughby

Christmas, FL

#9 Aug 3, 2010
Every body I know that has ever been diagnosed with cancer has died before their second chemo treatment, and all these people were family and friends from 30 years old to 80 years old and no one could handle radiation being put in their already weakened bodies. I am glad that someone has finally addressed the overdosing issue I call it "murder by medicare" and if my time comes I would rather spend all my money on a bucket list vacation than 5 dollars on a cancer treatment!

I have had four series of chemo treatments for Metastatic Lung Cancer ( bladder )The first one shrunk and killed some of the tumors, the second and third ones din't give good results , the fourth one is shrinking the tumors,I took the last treatment today and will get a CT scan later this month. So far I have out lived the average time for the cancer and have had a reasoable existance. Having a good support group of family and friends is a help and trust in GOD is most important. I go to M D Anderson hospital in Orlando FL.
enough

Los Angeles, CA

#10 Aug 3, 2010
I've been a nurse for almost 30 yrs. I have seen it all. Thank God the above patients are doing well,
BUT do we over treat?
Yup.
Do families want magic ?
Yup.
Does this combo drive up heath care by billions?
Yup.
The story is spot on, we on the inside have seen this problem for years. Ask any nurse friend if they think MDs over treat end of life cases.
Problem is when any brave politician tries to help, they get hammered by their political enemies ( backed by the huge pharm and med supply corporations) and their flock of frightened pidgeons led by the rightwing talking heads as exampled by some of the idiot posters above. They do no service to you by these uninformed opinions. We to inform patients of more options and be more up front about outcomes.
But we all know how Palin and Rush turned that into DEATH SQUADS.
I know alot of you hotheads listen to 'right wing' radio, have you noticed that a major sponsor is 'Cancer Treatment Centers of America' DUH. Wonder why Rush, Hannity, Beck and Palin stir up this 'DEATH PANEL'(almost comical) type hype?
For the ratings and MONEY.
Hello birdbrains THEY PLAY GOLF AND SMOKE CIGARS WITH THESE GUYS that get rich off peoples false hopes!
So all you President Obama haters go ahead and keep on being scared and the little led lemmings you are.
I'm retiring.
mikem

Milwaukee, WI

#11 Aug 6, 2010
"Some are touted as "improving survival by 30 or 50 percent" when that actually might mean living three weeks or months longer instead of two.
"It's amazing how little benefit those studies show," Storey said, referring to research on the new drugs."

This is a completely irresponsible statement. We are unfortunately saddled with taking only baby steps in cancer research but those baby steps bring us further and further forward in the fight against cancer. As a person dying of lung cancer, I am still on the same drug I have been on from the beginning (10 months). I am a lucky one who has responded well, currently work full time and suffer very little side effects from treatment. If the gains from drugs can amount to months of decent quality of life the there is nothing wrong with continuing treatment. Some people go too far yes, but if treatment equals additional quality time with family, friends, or what have you then I don't believe that's wrong. You have no idea how long 2 months can be or mean until you are in this position.

Research will eventually make this a chronic disease or find a cure. Without those baby steps we would get nowhere.
Cue

“Rack-em, Sit, Shut-up, Repeat”

Since: Feb 08

Your Gene POOL Needs Chlorine

#12 Sep 8, 2010
Hospice is a palliative care program I have been using for awhile and is for people like I with a terminal condition that allows a patient to have more control of their medical situation while still under doctor supervision. The last few days of life is what most people associate with hospice however many with a terminal condition can enter the program early. It is paid 100% by Medicare, there are no co-pays and includes needed medication, a nurse visits the home twice a week and a “CNA” daily if needed. Social workers, a pastor, case managers who are also nurses etc. also stop by providing comfort to the patient and family during this transitional time. Personally hospice was a better choice than seeing a physician once every three months, taking the same redundant tests then being overly medicated for every side effect for the prescribed drugs to treat my disease.

Doctors must try any medical means possible to keep a person alive even in the last days and is the major reason Americans spend 50% of all medical costs in the last 6 months of their existence. Quality of life vs the best possible care often creates for a medical professional an ethical dilemma. To satisfy a doctors oath multiple tests in a hospital setting with tubes, needles, ventilators etc. is usually required and is often in conflict to the patients desire to return home. Here is the primary problem with hospital incarceration as it relates to patient rights – if the person wishes to exit early for any reason he must sign a waiver indicating he is leaving against doctors advice. What that also means is your medical insurance may now choose to deny the claim even though many of the procedures being performed are unnecessarily redundant to re-verify what is already known. In actuality unless the patient can afford 100% of the cost of care he has no rights once admitted and must stay in the hospital until released by the physician.

I no longer have the same doctor as before because our goals as they related to my quality of life versus continuum of care took a different path and it was not an easy choice. The man is very skilled however old school like many others in his profession and prefers not to prescribe certain medications because of their addictive nature and the perception that he may be considered by his peers as an opiate pushing pain clinic. As an example: I am now a lot more comfortable than before because I am taking morphine 4 times a day which is a drug associated with addicts, pain management and end of life. Unbeknownst to most people morphine is also extremely effective for relaxing the lungs and increasing blood flow when taken in a small dosage which benefits me tremendously. What I find humorous is the old doc had me diagnosed with a terminal condition yet was concerned that I might become addicted.:) Medicinal marijuana also falls under similar scrutiny – taken in moderation under doctors supervision it also has medical benefits however the history, legality and perceived connotations of the drug presents too much backlash for medical doctors to prescribe. Can you imagine trying to get an old anti-hippie religious fundamentalist to take medicinal marijuana for any logical reason in today's world.:)

Regardless – I am not looking for sympathy because life has been good – pity those that die young that never had the chance to experience it. I accept my fate however my views on palliative care and the fact my wife is also a doctor in the medical field made me want to share my opinion about this very misunderstood medical service. HOSPICE is not a death panel like so many wish to believe. I have the best medical insurance money can buy however chose this route of treatment so I can die at home and not comatose in an expensive hospital with feeding tubes and needles in every vein with beeping oxygen and heart monitors for a few extra moments of misery.

PEACE
murder

Wayside, WV

#13 Nov 22, 2010
My mother had COPD. She had signed up for Hospice without knowing the "real truth". She went into the ER for congestion because she didn't want it to get worse or turn into pneumonia. Because she had already signed with Hospice, and they immediately started the MORPHINE! They took her off all of her medications, food and water for 5 days til she died. On the 3rd day, she was still sitting up talking, and didn't want to die. I asked the Hospice worker if they gave her back her meds and food, would she get better. The worker said "Yes, that she may get better and go home and live for another 6 mths or longer, but I was only being selfish because my mother had an incurable disease and I would be prolonging her suffering." My mom spoke up and said she no longer wanted the Hospice, and they said it was up to her power of attorney(my sister) and my sister was tired of her living with her and caring for her, so they killed my mother! like it or not, that is murder!
Bob

Reading, PA

#15 Jan 10, 2011
murder wrote:
My mother had COPD. She had signed up for Hospice without knowing the "real truth". She went into the ER for congestion because she didn't want it to get worse or turn into pneumonia. Because she had already signed with Hospice, and they immediately started the MORPHINE! They took her off all of her medications, food and water for 5 days til she died. On the 3rd day, she was still sitting up talking, and didn't want to die. I asked the Hospice worker if they gave her back her meds and food, would she get better. The worker said "Yes, that she may get better and go home and live for another 6 mths or longer, but I was only being selfish because my mother had an incurable disease and I would be prolonging her suffering." My mom spoke up and said she no longer wanted the Hospice, and they said it was up to her power of attorney(my sister) and my sister was tired of her living with her and caring for her, so they killed my mother! like it or not, that is murder!
Wow, what a horrible story. After my mother, a cancer patient on chemo, had a stroke at 77, I was able to save her from the palliative care vultures once. She wanted to go home, but had partially lost use of one hand. We were going to get her physical and occupational therapy and try to get her back home. The palliative crew came in and, after a 5 minute interview, talked her out of her goal, and recommended a nursing home to finish out her existence. After they left, I asked if she would like to try to go home. She responded yes, but the "professionals" advised against it. She went to rehab, and went home (which pc said she would never do). During her home eval by the rehab center, they told her to choose whether she wanted to live on the first or second floor, because she would NEVER be able to walk the steps again. She chose the first floor, but within two weeks was walking the steps once a day. Up to bed in the evening, down to the first floor in the morning. They said this would NEVER happen.
Several months later, she was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Unfortunately I was at work out of state at the time which gave the palliative care vultures another crack at her. Aftr another 5 minute interview, they talked her into "comfort care". My sister who is well meaning, but naive, with her husband signed off on my mother being of "sound mind" to make this decision. My sister called me to inform me of my mother's condition, and her choice to withhold treatment.
I jumped on the first plane, but by the time I arrived (11 hours after her decision), the doctor had her so whacked out on morphine that no meaningful communication was possible. Everyone involved thought she would be dead by the next morning. I am now sitting in a hospital room with her, where I have watched her starve and dehydrate for ELEVEN DAYS!(Doctor said she was within 24 hours of dying... FOUR DAYS AGO!
My mother was railroaded into agreeing to kill herself. Sold a bill of goods with nice sounding names like "Comfort care". TRUST ME, THERE IS NOTHING COMFORTABLE ABOUT IT! Better than nothing, but there is no comfort here. Her comfort care has transformed to terminal sedation, as every time she wakes, she is in excruciating pain.
In this society, we treat serial killers more humanely then a sweet old grandmother.
And for the :let nature take it's course" crowd, my mother was unable to eat or drink on her own do to the heavy dosages of drugs she was pumped up with. With all that is wrong with her, she will end up dying of thirst, none of the illnesses she was fighting.
Quality of Care

Richmond, VA

#16 Jan 27, 2011
In my experience it is up to the patient. When to stop care and let nature take its course. If the patient can't speak for themself then a family member must decide.
The doctor will do what ever it takes to sustain life if that is the families wishes and when all is exusted then the family decides.
If an old person comes into the hospital and asks for help in ending their life and all has been exausted then the doctor may decide to help that patient in doing so. If the doctor agrees that all avenues have been taken to withstand life is gone.
It really just depends on the patient and families wishes and the condition of the patient. Thats not to say go out and sign yourself a DNR cause many times patients code and are brought back even young ones. More times than not they can bring a patient back.
As a medical professional we have a duty and responsibility to give the best care possible at all cost. The cost of healthcare is sky rocketing and they are money oriented so to keep up cost of insurance goes up. Companies have to give half of what all their employee's contribute to their healh insurance carriers, meaning cut jobs and a bad economy.
They need to tackle the sky rocketing cost of healthcare and these doctors prices for services are astronomicle. If they can tackle the sky rocketing cost by physicians and hospitals and old age homes that is the biggest battle. How you do that, I am clueless.
A two week stay at a hospital can cost you up to 75,000.00. That is a half and arm and whole leg. Even if every one in America had to have insurance this would not cover the rising cost of healthcare. Their services even though they maybe the best in the world and I haven't seen that they are doesn't warrant there high charges to the American public.
hel

South Deerfield, MA

#17 Jan 27, 2011
i am 73 and refused a dr's care for the past 6 years, as i won't let my husband go either. knowing that all drs. pill push to fill their wallets, i do not trust them. now i am starting to go down hill, and if the pain gets worse, most nights i cannot sleep i will find a gun somehow and blow my self away. if i can't, i will stop eating or slit my wrists as i did it once befor 3 years ago.. i think if a older person wants to die thats up to them. i know for a fact if you have your own home,lots of money, they will force you to live and take evey thing you own. know how i know all this, sister is a retired nurse and she saw it all. another cousin a retired sales person for the drug co. and she would not let her mother take most drugs the pill pusher dr. wanted her to take, and aunty is 92 all she takes a small dose asprin. mom took all kinds of pills and she said she felt worse,dr gave her more she had a lot of money to afford these poisen pills. died at 83, today i feel sad, some pain and am a little afraid to kill myself as i will miss my husband sons and grandchildren, old age has robbed me og my beauty,health,and now my mind is fussy. hope to die soon.
Quality of Care

Richmond, VA

#18 Jan 27, 2011
i am 73 and refused a dr's care for the past 6 years, as i won't let my husband go either. knowing that all drs. pill push to fill their wallets, i do not trust them. now i am starting to go down hill, and if the pain gets worse, most nights i cannot sleep i will find a gun somehow and blow my self away. if i can't, i will stop eating or slit my wrists as i did it once befor 3 years ago.. i think if a older person wants to die thats up to them. i know for a fact if you have your own home,lots of money, they will force you to live and take evey thing you own. know how i know all this, sister is a retired nurse and she saw it all. another cousin a retired sales person for the drug co. and she would not let her mother take most drugs the pill pusher dr. wanted her to take, and aunty is 92 all she takes a small dose asprin. mom took all kinds of pills and she said she felt worse,dr gave her more she had a lot of money to afford these poisen pills. died at 83, today i feel sad, some pain and am a little afraid to kill myself as i will miss my husband sons and grandchildren, old age has robbed me og my beauty,health,and now my mind is fussy. hope to die soon.

I am so sorry you feel so badly I have cared for the elderly and bed bound for a long time. I see it all the time. God does answer prayers and hopefully in these last few years you have with your family, will be the best in your life time. Relax sit back and try to enjoy what you have left here on this earth. I wish you all the best. I have heard your same cry so many, many times from so many of the elderly.

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