Monday, January 31, 2011

I Can't Believe We're Still Talking About This!

Death Panels Some More?? Too many waivers in the Health Bill?

It might be worthwhile to check out who demanded the waivers for which lobby group. It might surprise you. Legislation is not easy and never "pure". As for death panels..oh crap!! We've been living with death panels for ever.

Twenty-five years ago when my mother-in-law was nearing the end of her medicare benefits after living in a coma-like existence for several months benefiting no one but the hospital, (the knee replacement surgery on a comatose patient seemed a little over the top to me,) we received a letter that when her benefits ran out we would be responsible for her care fees. I was wisely told by an older person familiar with health care procedure, and whom I trusted, "not to worry" that she would not outlast her medicare by a week. She passed away five days after the expiration date. Coincidence? I don't think so. I believe she was allowed to pass..

I don't ask to live for ever. I ask not to be put in an unheated hallway or room to hasten pneumonia. I ask not to have food withheld if my stomach spasms or water withheld if my mouth is parched. I ask to be able to remain dry and in a minimum of pain. If you think these things have not and do not happen your dream world is one to be envied.

I simply ask to have the options explained to me by someone who does not have a dog in the fight over the length and quality of my life..and to have that choice.

Incidentally, medicare guidelines have included almost the exact same wording for years as it pertains to Dr reimbursement for taking the time to sit with a patient and explain their end of life options. Now it's called death panels? Good Lord!