Tuesday, April 10, 2012

They Really Do Want to Kill Us

Sarah Kliff at WaPo writes:
Last week, a new initiative called Choosing Wisely got a lot of positive attention for gathering nine medical specialty groups and coming up with 45 procedures that even doctors think doctors shouldn’t do. But a new study on end-of-life care suggests that actually implementing those recommendations will be difficult...

Researchers at the Dartmouth Atlas looked at how well cancer treatment facilities, from world-renowned institutions to community hospitals, did at following end-of-life care guidelines. The guidelines were drawn up by the National Quality Forum, in consultation with stakeholder groups, and include avoiding chemotherapy treatment in the last two weeks of life and reducing intensive care unit admissions...

Dartmouth’s Nancy Morden thought that specialized cancer centers - the places that have developed international reputations for the care they provide - would better adhere with these metrics. These were, after all, places that focused exclusively on providing the highest quality oncology.

Except, they didn’t. Morden has a study in this month’s Health Affairs which finds that 23 percent of patients at national cancer centers visited the ICU in the last month of life. That figure stood at 24 percent among community hospitals. Looking across all treatment settings, one in 10 patients received a chemotherapy treatment in their last two weeks of life. Forty-eight percent saw 10 or more physicians in their last six months of life.

“Physicians are not perfect but we do have a lot of experience with death,” says Morden. “We should be better judges of when things are futile. And our job, then, is to be informing patients.”
It's coming. Stories and "research" along these lines is about setting the table. Centrally planned health "care" is about getting people into coffins quicker, once their usefulness as taxpayers is over.

In a free market, treatment options would be decided between patient and physician, not some egomaniac, psychopathic central planners.


  1. one day while I was working in the icu,a Dr. pointed to a patient that was connected to almost every type of tube one could be connected to and said "see, there is how we make our money". He shrugged his shoulders and walked away. As long as futile care is paid for, it will be provided

    1. That's third party payer for ya.

      Pseudo free market.

  2. Nancy Morden? Psssh...More like Nancy Mortem!

    Seems like Dartmouth (both the college and the medical center) attracts all the CommieCare promoters: first Jim Yong Kim, now this lady.

    BTW I go to this medical center, so I'll be sure to look elsewhere should I ever come down with a case of cancer sometime in the future :-0

  3. I'm an American living in England. The hospitals are roach motels for the elderly.

  4. The measure is the frequency of ICU visit near "end of life". How is the doctor suppose to know that? People don't have an expiration date on them. You can lower this number to zero by never admitting anyone into the ICU. Just like you can lower your hospital mortality rate by kicking out the terminally ill. That'd be ironic given that the reason given for support of socialist healthcare is so that "people don't die on the streets without care."

  5. I'm waiting to hear that smoking is good for you.