Finally some health care sanity: End of life planning to be covered by Medicare


Sarah Palin has become a joke for most people of the years, but there was a time when her stupidity was taken seriously by millions of Americans. Probably the worst example was her popularization of the term “death panels” in response to the rational proposal to reimburse doctors for end of life planning with their patients.

Now, six years later, it appears that sanity has won out and Medicare will finally begin to cover such critical services.

This article has a great summary of the new policy. Some of the more interesting facts include the following:

Most Americans say they’d prefer to die at home, with treatment to free them from pain. But the landmark “Dying in America” report from the prestigious Institute of Medicine found the reality too often is unwanted invasive care and not enough comfort, in part because too few people make their wishes known to their doctors and loved ones.

How can we deny patients the right to die with dignity in their own homes surrounded by loved ones?

This makes perfect sense for an ethical point of view.

It also makes sense fiscally, as we waste an incredible amount of money with unnecessary procedures at the end of life stage. This fiscal issue is what prompts fools like Palin to attack the policy, but this is entirely voluntary. The goal is to understand and honor the wishes of patients and their families.

Finally . . .

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