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October 15, 2012


Antonia Shusta

As crass as it may sound, I think that one reason so many patients and families go into the "keep me alive at any cost" mode is that they can avoid thinking about death. If they were actually paying at least a portion of the medical expenses, I do think they would give the issue some thought. I also have a hard time thinking that we should be investing scarce medical resources on people in their 80's and older. I also do not think we should be doing transplants of hearts, kidneys and such for people 70 and over, perhaps 55 or 60 and over. There is a time when individuals need to start thinking about the next generation. What baffles me is how many physicians readily administer useless and expensive treatments in the last 6-12 months of life for very old patients. Is it their fear of death as well?

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