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Doctors are torturing dementia patients at the end of their life. And it’s totally unnecessary.

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by studegator, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. studegator

    studegator All American

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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...ewsletter&wpisrc=nl_personalizedforyou&wpmm=1
    About 1 in 4 elderly people will develop dementia. Many of them will be tortured by doctors. I should know: I am one of those doctors.

    I recently tortured an 88-year-old woman with advanced dementia. Her mind was gone. She didn’t know her own name. Like other advanced dementia patients, she suffered incontinence, aggression, immobility, unaddressed pain and more. Her quality of life was dismal.

    Her family brought her to the hospital because she had a high fever and was more confused than usual. I knew that she was near her end.
     
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  2. gator_fever

    gator_fever GC Hall of Fame

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    Hate seeing people like that near the end but a more likely scenario is hearing a doctor trying to shame a family into ending the person's life early even after being told first hand it wasn't the family's wishes. I witnessed that first hand from the room beside my mother's before she went to hospice for her final days
     
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  3. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    Why is that more likely? And why would you want a loved one to live their final days in misery and confused about it all. When a family member is showing signs of dementia, the family should have a conversation with them about what they want before they are too far gone to expreas their wishes. It's hard to let someone go but also consider the pain and confusion that they are going through and what the most humane course of action might be.
     
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  4. HallGator

    HallGator Senile Mod Moderator VIP Member

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    I have made my wishes well known to my children. Don't keep me around in body only.
     
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  5. GatorFanCF

    GatorFanCF GC Hall of Fame

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    My uncle told me he didn’t want to be a vegetable- especially if it was broccoli :eek:
     
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  6. kygator

    kygator GC Hall of Fame

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    If I get dementia I’ve let my family know that I want to continue posting on Too Hot. You won’t notice much of a difference.
     
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  7. VAg8r1

    VAg8r1 GC Hall of Fame

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    Anyone remember when the Obama Administration proposed making end of life counseling a reimbursable benefit under Medicare and in response Republicans and the conservative mediaplex started screaming "Death Panels!"? Republicans apparently had little problem when the proposal was originally introduced as stand alone legislation by Republican Senator Johnny Isakson. It only became reprehensible when it was incorporated into the early version of the ACA. Interestingly, the term was coined by Betsy McCaughey, a former lobbyist for the health insurance industry and part-time conservative radio talk show star. The real reason wasn't the proposal itself but a rather obvious attempt to rally opposition to the ACA among low-information voters by using a scary catchphrase.
     
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  8. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    I thought death panels were about rationing?
     
  9. g8rjd

    g8rjd GC Hall of Fame

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    Dementia sucks.

    That is all.
     
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  10. ursidman

    ursidman GC Hall of Fame

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    My dad (97) will be entering Hospice care very soon. Mercifully, his mind is intact and he made this decision on his own. End of life issues are simply heartrending.

    I have let my kids know my wishes and put them into writing as well. After its all over, I'm to be cremated with at least some of the ashes put in Krispy Kreme glazed and fed to the bears in Ocala Forest. I owe them.
     
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  11. VAg8r1

    VAg8r1 GC Hall of Fame

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    It was about both.
    McCaughey claims end-of-life counseling will be required for Medicare patients
     
  12. VAg8r1

    VAg8r1 GC Hall of Fame

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    "off-topic"?
    I thought the topic was unnecessary futile medical care to extend life. Seems to be directly related.
     
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  13. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    We were talking about families and doctors dealing with end of life issues, not Republican propaganda from a decade ago.
     
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  14. cjgator76

    cjgator76 GC Hall of Fame

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    Same here. I’ve seen family situations where those discussions hadn’t occurred, and it’s really tough on the decision makers. Or at least it was on me.

    As for doctors, in my limited experience those who have a lot of geriatric patients seem to be better at telling the family when it’s time.
     
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  15. cjgator76

    cjgator76 GC Hall of Fame

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    Jeez, is there any topic you can’t try to turn into D vs. R?
     
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  16. VAg8r1

    VAg8r1 GC Hall of Fame

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    Counseling on end of life options could significantly reduce the probability of futile inhumane albeit well meaning attempts to extend life. Back in 2009 one party started opposing Medicare reimbursement for such counseling strictly for political reasons because the other party supported the legislation providing for the reimbursement. It was the party that opposed the legislation using deceptive inflammatory language that politicized the issue. I was merely providing historic background.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  17. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

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    I don't want to be a vegetable either. My wish is to be a slab of baby backs. ;)

    I strongly advise making these decisions before something happens. I had to make the call when Mrs. GK stroked, and the best case scenario is that she would be a veg. We hadn't had the conversation so it was up to me. Fortunately, we got each other and had we had "the conversation" it would have taken about 5 seconds to come to an agreement. We were on the same page. And thank gawd for her sister as she and I were on the same page as well. Didn't make it easy though. I would hate to think what it would be like if we weren't. It ain't easy giving the go ahead to pull the plug on the love of your life.
     
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  18. channingcrowderhungry

    channingcrowderhungry Premium Member

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    Cause I know most doctors grow up, dedicate years of their life and great sums of debt, just to get into the field of medicine dreaming of killing people, not saving them.
     
  19. cjgator76

    cjgator76 GC Hall of Fame

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    Right.
     
  20. AgingGator

    AgingGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Not any that I have seen!
     
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