Sunday, February 28, 2010

the comfort of DYING!!



The hospital environment is not designed to ease the process of dying for it is entirely oriented to preventing death. People who are old, infirm, immobile, helpless and in pain are left in brightly lit rooms, usually with another patient, and are treated with a scripted efficiency in an attempt to hold costs down. It is, as everyone knows who has witnessed it, an extremely unpleasant way to die. Beyond the emotional stress, families of the dying often face another shock, and that is the medical bills that pile up. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the health care cost in one's lifetime will occur during the final year of life, and half of those costs in the final ninety days. In rough dollars terms, this means we spend $200 to $300 billion annually in "health" care during the final year of life, $100 and $150 billion during those last ninety days. 

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