IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

Medical technology

Allen Smith allens at yang.earlham.edu
Sun May 31 10:40:31 EST 1992

In article <9205282308.AA18139 at rust.zso.dec.com>, french at RUST.ZSO.DEC.COM writes
> In reply to <9205282107.AA23251 at inet-gw-1.pa.dec.com> by
> Gerald M. Phillips (Professor Emeritus)
> Is it morale for society to make available an unlimited amount
> of expensive medical technology?   This is akin to offering an alcohaulic
> a drink to console his depression.  As humans, we crave to care for the
> elderly,  but doing so often reduces the overall quality of life for
> everyone involved.

        Let's let the elderly pay for such technology if they can afford
it. Don't offer the alcoholic a drink; let him decide to use it and pay
for it.
> A good example is my grandfather.  We sold the family farm to pay
> for his medical expenses.  And for what?  Due to Alzheimers disease, he
> could not recognize us.  He couldn't even recognize himself!  Now the
> farm that I grew up on, the place where my fondest memories came from,
> is gone and neither I nor my son will ever be able to enjoy it again.
> How did this improve the quality of life?
> I regret that the expensive medical technology and health care that
> kept my grandfather alive in an enfeebled state for a few extra years
> was available.  I'm sure that my grandfather would have agreed if only
> he could have forseen the suffering that my family would experience.

        Definitely, the right to die and living wills should be more
achnowledged. But that doesn't mean that a family shouldn't be able to
make the decision to pay for further medical treatment, unless the person
had said beforehand that they didn't want such treatment.
>> As a retiree, I fear the world looks very different to me than it does
>> to them.
> I'd like to hear what the world looks like from your perspective.  Should
> the elderly have unlimited access to health care even if the costs are
> increasing exponentially?   Should there be a cut off age?
> What would the ideal health care system for the elderly be like?
        Let them pay for it. If they're too poor, and are sick through no
fault of their own (not through smoking, etc.), then government payments may
be appropriate- and such payments may be limited by what is appropriate, such
as a cutoff for total dollar amount.

More information about the Ageing mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net