No Duty to Die

By Anonymous Latest Reply 2009-12-13 00:50:45 -0600
Started 2009-12-11 20:51:19 -0600

Pat R's recent posts regarding what medical care she would seek at the age of 77 and others responses to her prompted me to start this discussion. I have been a healthcare provider for around forty years. While I have always supported a patient's right to refuse medical care, including potentially life saving interventions (blood transfusions, kidney transplants, etc.), I also now days feel compelled to be more vocal in reinforcing that no person, regardless of their age or severity of a chronic or acute illness, has a "duty to die". The decision a person makes regarding what medical care they seek should be based on their full and complete understanding of the risks, benefits and alternatives of any proposed treatment. Granted risk sometimes includes financial risk (that is why I won't be getting a cosmetic surgery for my triple chin - I can't afford it). But as many pointed out, people who have worked and paid taxes all their life have been paying into Medicare and Social Security. If the proposed treatment is a covered benefit of Medicare I would never expect the Medicare benficiary to refuse a recommended treatment to "save resources" for a younger person. I want to support a person's personal choice for what is right for him or herself. If a patient I know wants comfort measures, I'll fight tooth and nail to make that happen. Conversely, regardless of age or prognosis, if a patient wants to fight on with various diagnostic tests and treatments, then I will aggressively advocate for that pursuit as well. You don't have a duty to prolong your suffering nor do you have a duty to die. Freedom of choice and control over one's own body means there can be quality of life for as long as there is breath. My thoughts only..any reader is free to disagree.

7 replies

centrider 2009-12-13 00:50:45 -0600 Report

Yep. No duty to die, but it seems as though Pat was mirroring the outrageous statements of the, "Death Panels" none of which exist, nor will they ever.

Those who begrudge insurance coverage to those who have none, or have little, rest assured that one day, in the present system of private companies controlling, or selling insurance, one day you'll be under the gun.

One day, you get the chance check out the income of the CEO of any of the major private companies. Then look at what the President of the USA makes.

Now, tell me, who would you want to insure you?

Sue Turner
Sue Turner 2009-12-12 18:06:52 -0600 Report

I would just like to commend you on your advocacy for the rights of a patient, regardless of age, illness, or financial status. I feel that everyone deserves to be treated the same, and with dignity. No one person should be left behind. Healthcare providers like you are few and far between. I too have been in the medical field for nearly 40 yrs.,and I have seen the mistreatment of many patients who had no one to fight on their behalf for whatever treatment they required or deserved. That to me is a shame. Thank you so very much for your post. Sue T.

Mary1WB 2009-12-12 17:08:30 -0600 Report

I agree that there's no duty to die, and that's regardless of age OR income. I don't expect to receive an eye-lid lift, but I would like to have better, affordable options for the meds & tools I need to stay alive. I didn't choose or cause my diabetes but I do choose to live as well as possible with and in spite of it. The exorbitant cost of health care and medicines in this country can make that difficult.

Harlen 2009-12-11 21:56:52 -0600 Report

Right on
I know one day I will not be able to pay for all the meds I need and that it will the end of me but till that day gets here I will fight with all I have. Live life love life you only get one shot at it THATS LIFE
Best wishes to you all

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