Should We Spend Less on End-of-Life Care?

Evan Thomas, in a cover article for Newsweek titled, “The Case for Killing Granny: Rethinking end-of-life care,” writes:

My mother wanted to die, but the doctors wouldn’t let her…. The hospital at my mother’s assisted-living facility was sustained by Medicare, which pays by the procedure. I don’t think the doctors were trying to be greedy by pushing more treatments on my mother. That’s just the way the system works.

Comments (4)

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  1. John Goodman says:

    Medicare spends about 30% of its budget on patients in the last year of life.

  2. Vicki says:

    These are very difficult decisions. But they should be made by families, not impersonal bureaucracies.

  3. Neil H. says:

    The answer to your lead question is: yes.

  4. Michael Kirsch, M.D. says:

    Regarding you inquiry, ‘Should we spend less on End-of-Life Care?, it depends upon whose money you’re spending? If patients and families had some real skin in the game, the end of life path would be quite different. There would be fewer ventilators and heroics and much more comfort care.