Should there be a limit on what society should pay to extend a life?

Should there be a limit to how much society spends to extend a life?


  • Total voters
    17
Apr 2018
14,104
3,727
oregon
I was asking this question in a thread, but would rather pose it to the membership in general. There are currently social safety nets that provide life-extending care to people. Should there be a limit to how much is spent?
 
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Rasselas

Moderator
Feb 2010
74,281
53,003
USA
I know it sounds heinous to some, but I think there should be a limit--after a particular age. Honestly, I think after about 80 or 85 anyone should seriously consider palliative care should they suffer from a life-threatening illness. I've read that we spend about half our health care dollars on the last year of life. There's got to be a cost-benefit equilibrium point in there somewhere.

On the other hand, the greatest opposition to this idea SHOULD come from conservatives, since they opposed even letting doctors bill insurance for a conversation about this topic. Called it "death panels" as I recall.

And one more thing--if a radical treatment or prosthetic or SOMETHING that can extend life significantly is developed (I'm talking about something like putting your brain in a robot body or whatever, which is not out of the question), it should be available to everyone--not just the massively wealthy.
 
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Rasselas

Moderator
Feb 2010
74,281
53,003
USA
I didn't vote because I object to wording each response differently. I don't think there MUST be anything.
 
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Jul 2013
60,083
67,810
Nashville, TN
I noticed the question was only posed for folks using Medicare, if they have the money, it is ok to live forever via Elysium....
 
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Reactions: 1 person
Apr 2018
14,104
3,727
oregon
I know it sounds heinous to some, but I think there should be a limit--after a particular age. Honestly, I think after about 80 or 85 anyone should seriously consider palliative care should they suffer from a life-threatening illness. I've read that we spend about half our health care dollars on the last year of life. There's got to be a cost-benefit equilibrium point in there somewhere.

On the other hand, the greatest opposition to this idea SHOULD come from conservatives, since they opposed even letting doctors bill insurance for a conversation about this topic. Called it "death panels" as I recall.

And one more thing--if a radical treatment or prosthetic or SOMETHING that can extend life significantly is developed (I'm talking about something like putting your brain in a robot body or whatever, which is not out of the question), it should be available to everyone--not just the massively wealthy.
Please cast a vote to reflect your position.
 
Apr 2018
14,104
3,727
oregon
I didn't vote because I object to wording each response differently. I don't think there MUST be anything.
My bad. Everywhere else I used the word "should" instead of "must". If I post another poll with that single word changed, will you vote? Or can you vote on this one now that I've stated it should've been worded slightly differently?
 
Apr 2018
14,104
3,727
oregon
I noticed the question was only posed for folks using Medicare, if they have the money, it is ok to live forever via Elysium....
The question did not mention medicare at all. Even a wealthy person will eventually run out of money. The question is whether or not there should be a limit to what society should pay to extend a life, regardless of individual wealth.
 
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Jun 2014
64,992
39,905
Cleveland, Ohio
There is a finite amount of money. End of life care cannot be unlimited. There's nothing to debate here, anymore than it is rational to debate gravity.

The more difficult ethical issues are HOW should this limit be made? I'm unsentimental. I say nothing but palliative care after age 70, except if paid for entirely by the patient.
 
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Apr 2018
14,104
3,727
oregon
There is a finite amount of money. End of life care cannot be unlimited. There's nothing to debate here, anymore than it is rational to debate gravity.

The more difficult ethical issues are HOW should this limit be made?
Agreed. Who should decide the limit? Should it be equal for all? Should a person's life choices be a factor?

Thank you for actually casting a vote, btw. The others seem unwilling for whatever reasons.
 
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Reactions: 1 person
Nov 2013
12,255
12,648
NY
There is a finite amount of money. End of life care cannot be unlimited. There's nothing to debate here, anymore than it is rational to debate gravity.

The more difficult ethical issues are HOW should this limit be made? I'm unsentimental. I say nothing but palliative care after age 70, except if paid for entirely by the patient.
The assignment of money to the available treatment is artificial.. and not a "natural' limitation in what's possible.

If you need a liver transplant to be able to survive.. the organ is the physical limitation.. the operation itself has no "pre-assigned" cost... it can be a few hundred dollars, it can be 10, 000 $ it can be 100, 000$ .. depending on WHERE the operation takes place, and by whom.

If you need chemotherapy for the "chance" to overcome cancer.. the drugs have a certain affixed cost to be produced.. the cost that might prevent a patient from getting it, because of lack of funding, is again artificial, and created by a pharma company for profit. And at times, outrageous profit, the more important, the more expensive.. despite it's actual cost to make, or rareness of resources.