When it comes to expensive, hi-tech treatments with some potential to extend life, there are few limitations.Hey, eff you Byock. If grandma wants a fourth cardiac bypass then who the hell are you to deny her the treatments... especially since she has spent her entire working life paying into a program that you and your death panels want to ration out to the uninsured and illegals.
By law, Medicare cannot reject any treatment based upon cost. It will pay $55,000 for patients with advanced breast cancer to receive the chemotherapy drug Avastin, even though it extends life only an average of a month and a half; it will pay $40,000 for a 93-year-old man with terminal cancer to get a surgically implanted defibrillator if he happens to have heart problems too.
"I think you cannot make these decisions on a case-by-case basis," Byock said. "It would be much easier for us to say 'We simply do not put defibrillators into people in this condition.' Meaning your age, your functional status, the ability to make full benefit of the defibrillator. Now that's going to outrage a lot of people."
"But you think that should happen?" Kroft asked.
"I think at some point it has to happen," Byock said.
"Well, this is a version then of pulling Grandma off the machine?" Kroft asked.
"You know, I have to say, I think that's offensive. I spend my life in the service of affirming life. I really do. To say we're gonna pull Grandma off the machine by not offering her liver transplant or her fourth cardiac bypass surgery or something is really just scurrilous. And it's certainly scurrilous when we have 46 million Americans who are uninsured," Byock said.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
for those who claim death panels are a reactionary objection to obama care...
... from the below segment, 60 Minutes-Cost of Dying: