July 28, 2005

HOW COULD THE BOMBERS HAVE SUCH CONTEMPT FOR LIFE?:

Patient Loses 'Right-To-Life' Case (Yahoo News, 7/28/05)

The General Medical Council has won its appeal against a ruling allowing a terminally ill man to stop doctors withdrawing his feeding tube.Lesley Burke did not want doctors to stop giving him food and water in the final stages of his illness.The ruling has wide implications for terminally ill people who want the right to die.

And it means that decisions over people's right to live or die are back in the hands of doctors, rather than the patients.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 28, 2005 11:19 PM
Comments

[The General Medical Council believed that the original ruling] obliges a doctor to provide treatment which the patient demands - even if the doctor believes the treatment will not provide any benefit or would be futile.

The GMC said the patient did not have the right to demand any particular form of treatment.

Lesson: Don't depend on public healthcare. Be successful enough to pay for your own doctors.

Beyond that, not much.

Orrin:

You detest cyborgs, but want us all to be hooked up to a bunch of tubes and machines during our final days, trying to squeeze another few hours of life from our weary bodies ?

How do you resolve the contradiction ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 29, 2005 12:55 AM

[The General Medical Council believed that the original ruling] obliges a doctor to provide treatment which the patient demands - even if the doctor believes the treatment will not provide any benefit or would be futile.

The GMC said the patient did not have the right to demand any particular form of treatment.

Lesson: Don't depend on public healthcare. Be successful enough to pay for your own doctors.

Beyond that, not much.

Orrin:

You detest cyborgs, but want us all to be hooked up to a bunch of tubes and machines during our final days, trying to squeeze another few hours of life from our weary bodies ?

How do you resolve the contradiction ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 29, 2005 12:55 AM

This news disgusted me.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 29, 2005 5:18 AM

Michael -- Feeding is "treatment" ???

You are not helping your cause, whatever that is.

Posted by: Randall Voth at July 29, 2005 6:39 AM

The ruling has wide implications for terminally ill people who want the right to die.

It's not the "right to die," it's the "duty to die so the universal health care system can balance its budget."

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 29, 2005 6:42 AM

Mike:

It's probably worse than that. It is "my right to remove your damaged, ugly, and ineffective body from my sight". The pocketbook is important, but not as powerful as forcing the contemplation of one's frailty (mortality).

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 29, 2005 7:10 AM

This is the necessary result of public health care. If price is not used as the rationing mechanism, something else will be. And that something is the subjective judgment of the physician or the administrator.

I'll take my chances with a price based mechanism, thank you very much.

Posted by: bart at July 29, 2005 7:12 AM

They're feeding him food and water for goodness sake. If that is too inconvenient for the state to bother with, then heaven help us all.

Posted by: Gideon at July 29, 2005 8:21 AM

Michael:

Cyborgs are human--I've got no problem with them.

Posted by: oj at July 29, 2005 8:58 AM

the biggest murderer in english history is a doctor, as was the ripper. socialist countries routinely deny medical treatment to people who don't behave as the state demands. in the gdr doctors would terminate patients that had tissue type compatible with party bigs that needed an organ transplant. and of course we have our own dr dean, imagine what he would get upto in a socialist paradise...

Posted by: cjm at July 29, 2005 9:50 AM

Michael H. You must have deep pockets indeed to pay for your own health care and when you're over 65, you get Medicare -- want it or not. Five years when my husband and I became eligible, we tried to get off it and buy our own health insurance.

Surprise! No can do.

It's Medicare through an HMO or Medicare with or without supplementary insurance. Medicare has doctors sewed up too. If they accept Medicare, they can't charge above what Medicare deems adequate. If they don't accept Medicare, they must rely on people like Michael who can afford the truly astronomical costs for the simplest procedures. An example, I was admitted to the hospital with symptoms indicating a possible heart attack (it wasn't) and released less than 24 hours later. Total charges came to more than $13,000.

Given that we pay almost $4,000/yr for the basic BC/BS supplementary coverage and the full cost of medications which total about $5,000/yr, our free health care costs nearly $10,000 when OTC medications and other incidentals are added in.

The reasons for these outrageously high costs is two-fold:

The average consumer doesn't care if he's not paying out of pocket. When people look over their hospital bills which often tally into to the multiple tens of thousands, it doesn't mean anything to them, and they call it funny money.

The other reason is there are no limits to the escalating administrative costs.

The above is our understanding of our predicament, but we're no experts, so I would appreciate input from some of you mavens who may have better information.


Posted by: erp at July 29, 2005 10:54 AM

Mr Burke made a tactical error. Instead of fighting in the courts he should have concentrated on bribing the members of the review board.

Posted by: Dread Pirate Roberts at July 29, 2005 1:33 PM

oj:

"I KNOW THE PATHWAY TO YOUR HEART"

And the cyborgs and genetically modified people of the future will not [have a soul] ?
Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 12, 2004 05:42 PM

Agreed. That's why we'll have to hunt them like dogs.
Posted by: oj at October 12, 2004 06:15 PM

Randall Voth:

I believe that you misdirected to me a comment intended to be addressed to the General Medical Council.

Gideon:

The nature of the treatment wasn't the point - it could have been exposing him to sunlight.

What the GMC wanted to nail down was that the medical establishment, and not the patient, has the final say in what treatments are administered, and when.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 29, 2005 8:19 PM

Every vet with a hook is a cyborg--they're human. Genetically modified mutants won't be.

Posted by: oj at July 29, 2005 8:30 PM

oj:

"I KNOW THE PATHWAY TO YOUR HEART"

And the cyborgs and genetically modified people of the future will not [have a soul] ?
Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 12, 2004 05:42 PM

Agreed. That's why we'll have to hunt them like dogs.
Posted by: oj at October 12, 2004 06:15 PM

Randall Voth:

I believe that you misdirected to me a comment intended to be addressed to the General Medical Council.

Gideon:

The nature of the treatment wasn't the point - it could have been exposing him to sunlight.

What the GMC wanted to nail down was that the medical establishment, and not the patient, has the final say in what treatments are administered, and when.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 29, 2005 8:37 PM
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