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ERADICATE END-OF-LIFE INTERVENTIONS THAT MERELY PROLONG SUFFERING AND DRIVE UP HEALTH-CARE COSTS

Posted Jan 14 2009 5:56pm
Dr. Ronald Hoffman has a post listing 13 things that he would do as Surgeon General of the United States.  Number six is "ERADICATE END-OF-LIFE INTERVENTIONS THAT MERELY PROLONG SUFFERING AND DRIVE UP HEALTH-CARE COSTS."  
Hoffman explains:  "It's estimated that 80% of Medicare dollars are expended on patients' last 12 months of life. A special commission needs to be convened to investigate futile medical procedures that cause terminal patients to languish in intensive care units with little prospect of recovery, costly unnecessary surgeries, and aggressive cancer treatments with no proven survival benefits for elderly patients. Patients and families must be given the resources to make ethical and humanitarian end-of-life decisions (and I'm NOT talking about euthanasia, just rational compassionate care!)"
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