Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why Palliative Care is So Important for Seriously Ill and End of Life Patients

Watch see Palin and Gingrich supporting end of life counseling in 2008 and 2009. Medicare Advantage had this provision and it got 40 Senate Republican votes!

It is horrendous that in terminal illnesses, especially cancer, with pain that does not stop even with morphine, patients are not given options by their doctors because Medicare does not reimburse for their time. Those who are told they have options choose a hospice or going home to die among family and friends instead of staying in a hospital bed. My aunt, uncle, and more recently a very close friend decided not to take the extra treatments for cancer and died more peacefully with loved ones. Most people strongly prefer to die at home and not in a hospital. My father and brothers decided not to even get a test for lung cancer because it was so invasive.

A survey that Rachel Maddow displayed yesterday showed clearly that those who get information from FOX cable had two to three times more viewers believing the Death Panel Lie than on CNN and MSNBC The Republican channel should be subjected to the Fairness Law discarded by Ronald Reagan so it would be more difficult to give us War Propaganda and Now Destroy Healthcare Lies.

Yes, there is a Death Panel where 20,000 patients from three Health Insurance monopolies DENIED CARE in one year.

Jim Kawakami, August 19, 2009, Health and Finance

Why Palliative Care is So Important for End of Life Patients Ninety percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, yet more than half of us die in hospitals. The "death panel" rumors of the last few weeks have obscured some uncomfortable but important facts: everyone dies, and end-of-life care will always be a part of medicine, whether we like it or not.

According to Dr. Diane Meier, a palliative-medicine specialist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, what this country needs is more end-of-life counseling (what critics refer to as "death panels"), not less—and not as a cost-cutting measure but as a way to provide people with the guidance and care they need while being treated for a serious disease at the end of life. Palliative care is an emerging medical specialty dedicated to helping patients and their families navigate a serious or terminal illness. ...

The No. 1 concern of patients and families is not enough time with their doctor. Doctors do not get paid for spending time with patients and families. They get paid for doing things to them. It is much faster and cheaper for a doctor to order another PET scan than to sit down and have a 90-minute conversation with that patient and family about what the options are. [The provision for end-of-life counseling in Obama's health-care bill] was a very small step toward saying: we think it's important for patients to be able to get their questions answered and for doctors to be able to understand who their patients are. ...

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