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french at RUST.ZSO.DEC.COM french at RUST.ZSO.DEC.COM
Thu May 28 18:08:10 EST 1992

In reply to <9205282107.AA23251 at inet-gw-1.pa.dec.com> by 
Gerald M. Phillips (Professor Emeritus)

> Would the writers of these recent pieces please state their ages along
> with their I.D.  As a retiree, I fear the world looks very different to
> me than it does to them.

I am 35, and I realize that my previous posts may sound very
uncaring and callous with respect to the elderly.  Actually, the
opposite it true.  I have a deep respect for my elderly parents and 
will do everything within my means to care for them in their old age.

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.

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.

> 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?

- Larry French

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