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SaneIT
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Data Doctor
Re: Sickening future
SaneIT   1/5/2017 8:21:01 AM
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I'm not arguing for assisted suicide here but I don't think treatment is always about money.  I know people who could afford the treatment but didn't have the appetite for months of pain and sickness through a treatment that might not extend their lifespan at all.  Quality of life comes into play and what is an acceptable level of quality will vary from person to person.  I would prefer that we let individuals determine what they think they can handle and if they think treatment is going to worth it but I'm sure self preservation really kicks in for some people and they would insist on every treatment available even though chances of survival are statically zero.

 

 

Ariella
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Sickening future
Ariella   1/4/2017 6:46:15 PM
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@PC Indeed, I know of people who would even do that for their pets. Consider, you have a mutt for 6 years that you've come to love, and he needs an operation that will cost you $2,500. If it were purely a question of economics, you could say, I an buy a new mutt for less than $500, so it's more economical to let him die or have him euthanized. But most pet owners would shell out for the operation (unless they are told it will cause the dog undue suffering). Now with people, it would be completely callous to say, save your money, and let your kid die because you always have or adopt another one for far less money. 

One of my cousins had a baby born at about 25 weeks. She was in the NICU for many months, and I have no doubt that the bill topped 6 figures. But what kind of society woudl demand that the baby not receive care and just be allowed to die? She has now been released and is doing well, from what I've been told. I know of another family who had a child born that prematurely. He had to be in special ed classes his whole life, though he is pretty high function. So would we say, he should have been allowed to die to save on costs all around? That is the beginning of the path toward fostering a superior race and weeding out those whose lives we value less -- shade of Nazi ideology there.

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Need a human
bkbeverly   1/4/2017 6:22:29 PM
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@tomsg - Agreed. The question is who has the dominant voice - the family, the physicians or the medical/health insurers (who control claim reimbursements and payments for medicines and surgery)? In most cases, I am guessing the family has the dominant voice, but I am also assuming that the physicians and providers are totally transparent regarding the options available. In total agreement that the software should only point but not decide.

tomsg
User Rank
Data Doctor
Need a human
tomsg   1/4/2017 5:55:03 PM
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I think that while the software provides valuable input, you still need a human in the equation. Matters like these will vary person by person, so the averages may not be the est guide.

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Sickening future
bkbeverly   1/4/2017 4:45:09 PM
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@SaneIT, so noted! What has pleasantly surprised me thus far has been the responses posted. Analytics professionals who typically are dispassionate on most topics are expressing the conflict between the human aspect and the need for making valid and reliable decision support tools.

PredictableChaos
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Sickening future
PredictableChaos   1/4/2017 3:46:12 PM
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@SaneIT

Some medical treatments are so expensive, and so fruitless; that if I were a candidate for one myself I would pass.

My Aunt was offered some of these treatments. After careful consideration, she declined and went home to spend her last months peacefully with her family. She might have lived a bit longer with more treatment, but it would have basically taken the life she had. She didn't think it was worth it.

PredictableChaos
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Sickening future
PredictableChaos   1/4/2017 3:40:07 PM
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@Ariella

If one owns a car that requires an expensive repair, it's only natural to think of the car's remaining useful life. Is it worth $2500 to fix the air conditioning in a old car that's only worth $2000 after it's fully working? Probably not. But the same repair for a relatively young $40,000 sports car, is well worth doing.

We generally don't think of people in this way. With people that we know and love, it is not difficult to avoid thinking this way.

 

SaneIT
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Sickening future
SaneIT   1/4/2017 2:11:51 PM
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@bkbeverly, this is a very deep issue and I think a lot of us have trouble removing emotional responses from those business decisions.  In a perfect post scarcity world where we would save everyone that we could possibly save from every disease/injury.  The line drawn to determine the ethical duty to save an individual is not only grey it will shift greatly due to more than just the dollars required for treatment.  $200 in NYC versus $200 in rural Kentucky will mean different things as well. 

 

Lyndon_Henry
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Sickening future
Lyndon_Henry   1/4/2017 2:05:19 PM
NO RATINGS
..

Ariella writes that

... there are even more questions when you have taxpayers footing the bill for everyone's healthcare, as in the case of the NHS in the UK and socialized medicine in Canada. In the former, there tends to be shortage of hospital beds and major waits for just about all surgical procedures.



 

It's important to understand that Britain's National Health Service once represented perhaps the world's best public health system among countries with capitalist economies. In his documentary film Sicko Michael Moore even focused on it as an example of what a good national health service could offer.

But rising conservative political forces, including within the leftist Labour Party, have systematically underfunded the NHS and slashed services and quality. This process has accelerated with the Conservative Cameron (and now May) regime. Some measure of public concern can be gauged from the fact that a de facto protest against the cutbacks, and in celebration of the NHS, was staged as one of the main performances in the 2012 Olympics in London.

..

Ariella
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Sickening future
Ariella   1/4/2017 12:23:00 PM
NO RATINGS
@bkbeverly they're not rich. The only breadwinner now works as an administrator in a university. I'm sure that this is eating up all that they may have saved for retirement. But some people think that you just can't put a price tag on certain things -- and keeping a family member alive and as comfortable as possible woudl be one of them. When people make the decision to let someone die, I doubt they admit that money enters into it. That was the point I was making when I referenced my friend's nurse's training. The medical professionals there really believe it's not worth keeping a person alive in that state. This seeps into different atttitudes you also encounter in hospitals when the patient is young versus when the patient is old. When my son had surgery a few years ago, they kept referencing, "for a young person..." While that was meant to be reassuring, I couldn't help thinking of the flip side: for an older person they would see less of a payoff because the person would naturally have fewer years to live. My husband who enjoys reading books by doctors says that is indeed the case: they are far more motivated for a person who has a natural lifespan of another 50 plus years than for someone who is already past 70.

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