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Medical Care at the End-of-Life
In theÂ past, mostÂ people who died had an accident or contracted a disease or they had a physical illness that eventuallyÂ lead to death. Life-saving medical interventions such as sophisticated resuscitation, complicated surgeries, life-saving treatments, ventilators, feeding tubes and other life-support were rarely used or even available. But today’s medical care, provides aÂ great emphasis on curing medical problems sometimes to the exclusion of recognizing that death might be a more welcome outcome.
Surveys indicate that older people are often more afraid of death than younger people. But for all Americans — young and old — there is a great fear of death and oftentimes the families of those loved ones, who are near the end-of-life, will go to great lengths to try interventions that may be ineffective in prolonging life. We need only look to the Terri Schiavo case as a reflection of the attitude of many Americans who are unwilling to let loved ones pass on.
Estimates are that about 30% of Medicare reimbursements are spent on people in the last year of their life. It is a fact that much of this medical care did little to prevent death and prolong life.Â Read full article.