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Author Topic: The Value of Life ??  (Read 15044 times)

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Offline Magicman

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The Value of Life ??
« on: September 03, 2015, 09:24:11 PM »
Since this situation could apply to different illnesses or ailments, I pulled it from the Colonoscopy thread.

Today I had a colonoscopy and the results were fantastic.  No polyps.  Good news.

The Doctor's reaction from these results was a bit discerning.  Yes, he was pleased but.  Two years ago and every couple of years for the past ~12 years I have had polyps removed.  None this time, which is excellent news.  Thus, I was expecting to be rescheduled in ~5 years.  When I asked, the surgeon said that there would be no reschedule.  ??

My thoughts are that in 5 years I will be 77 years old and by then I will be deemed to be dispensable.  I will either have no problem, or I will be at an age where I am no longer worth treating. ??  I suppose that my life then will have value only to myself and my family.
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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2015, 10:23:38 PM »
Did you ask him why?

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Offline WmFritz

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2015, 10:41:21 PM »
Lynn, I know ultimately your life is most valuble to you and the folks that love you, but don't forget that your valuable to your FF family too.

~Bill

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Offline Magicman

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 10:42:39 PM »
Thanks Fritz.  Dan, as goofy as I was about then, I did not even think about it until just a while ago.   smiley_dizzy
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Offline Ianab

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2015, 12:33:43 AM »
One thing they have to consider with older patients is the increased risk from even "routine" procedures. Even going under anaesthetic becomes risky as you get older. If you knock out a hundred 80 year old patients, chances are one wont wake up.

Then it becomes a matter of weighing up the risk vs the benefits. Risk killing you now to check for something that might kill you in 20 years time? Or just leave it alone and maybe you die of a stoke @ 90, with some random polyps. So you risk the procedure, but don't actually gain any real benefit. It's like backing a race horse that only pays 90 cents to win.

When you are younger there is less risk to treat, and more to be gained. So when you are 50, and they treat some polyps that might have killed you by now, it was a good bet. Low risk, high return.

You don't want the good news, bad news thing.
Good news - no polyps.
Bad news - MM didn't wake up....
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Offline Magicman

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 08:54:09 AM »
Ian, your response was exactly what Pat drilled into me last night.  I guess that I do not mind getting older, just have not realized/accepted the baggage and possible limitations that go along with it.  The "obits" are filled with folks much younger than I am.
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Online Jeff

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2015, 09:33:16 AM »
This is a chunk of Forestry Forum gold here if you ask me. Lynn, when you posed the question, my blood pressure rose thinking, "what the heck?  You can't devalue a life like that!"  and then when Ian posted, my blood pressure went down and I returned to a oh yea, that makes perfect sense.



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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2015, 11:15:22 AM »
My neighbors are in their mid 80s and he could really use a hip replacement, though he is still active with the pain.  But the doctors won't do it now - too much risk.  He put it off about 6 or 8 years ago and is sorry he did now. :(

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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2015, 12:14:26 PM »
Soylent Green
The First 60 years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2015, 12:45:01 PM »
Yes, my doctor has told me the same thing as what Ianab stated as I approach "80".
~Ron

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2015, 08:45:08 PM »
Ian,

    I understand your response but am concerned we are letting statistics govern what has to be the most sensitive area we deal with - our life and health. From what I have concluded Lynn is not the typical 72 y/o so why should he be treated the same as a couch potato.

   I have a 14 month younger brother who weighs 500 lbs and everything he does is a struggle. I would certainly expect my doctor to treat me, who am half his size, different that him. I'm not in the shape I was as a 25 y/o Marine but I can still get out a walk around these hills and hollers and do the things I enjoy.

   I would expect the doctor to treat each of us patients different according to our on physical factors and family history. I am concerned the insurance and admin folks are driving the health train instead of the trained medical community.
Howard Green
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Offline redprospector

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2015, 10:26:52 PM »
Sounds to me like as we get older we will have to really start trusting God to do for us what He said, and believe totally in what Jesus did for us.
I wonder if that was their intention when all the "health care" rules got changed? I kinda doubt it.  ;)
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Offline beenthere

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2015, 11:03:55 PM »
WV
Quote
I am concerned the insurance and admin folks are driving the health train instead of the trained medical community.

That is becoming very evident with Dr's (sorry, not my Doctor anymore but he is now my "provider" ) and their selection of referrals to specialists. It was subtle, but not so much any more.
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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2015, 12:06:43 AM »
the problem is everyone is scared and/or concerned about potential litigation.
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Offline rooster 58

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2015, 08:19:12 AM »
Sounds like MM needs to go elk hunting again.....

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2015, 04:29:30 PM »
Rooster,

   My daughter gets married in 2 weeks in Glacier Nat'l Park (weather and fires permitting). Wife made her wedding dress and she included pockets (I guess for bear spray). Wife setting up lodging there and at Yellowstone and the guy we are lodging at says the elk are bugling like crazy. Maybe I should take my bow?  Oh well, bow season will be in full swing back here when we return.

   Best to all.
Howard Green
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Offline sandsawmill14

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2015, 11:42:49 PM »
Sounds to me like as we get older we will have to really start trusting God to do for us what He said, and believe totally in what Jesus did for us.
I wonder if that was their intention when all the "health care" rules got changed? I kinda doubt it.  ;)

x2  well said smiley_clapping smiley_clapping smiley_clapping
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Offline pine

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2015, 12:42:12 AM »
My thoughts are that in 5 years I will be 77 years old and by then I will be deemed to be dispensable.  I will either have no problem, or I will be at an age where I am no longer worth treating. ??  I suppose that my life then will have value only to myself and my family.
One thing they have to consider with older patients is the increased risk from even "routine" procedures. Even going under anaesthetic becomes risky as you get older. If you knock out a hundred 80 year old patients, chances are one wont wake up.

Then it becomes a matter of weighing up the risk vs the benefits. Risk killing you now to check for something that might kill you in 20 years time? Or just leave it alone and maybe you die of a stoke @ 90, with some random polyps. So you risk the procedure, but don't actually gain any real benefit. It's like backing a race horse that only pays 90 cents to win.

When you are younger there is less risk to treat, and more to be gained. So when you are 50, and they treat some polyps that might have killed you by now, it was a good bet. Low risk, high return.

I have debated on contributing to this thread and if my input was worth anything.

While I do not have first hand knowledge my knowledge comes directly from my sister who not only has first hand knowledge but was very involved in the group conference that established the ground rules  that they were tasked with doing.  She is a very talented medical doctor that is highly sought after for her expertise and she has multiple specialties in which she is board certified.

What Ianab stated is a true and accurate issue that the medical community has to evaluate on any procedure with the elderly, however...............

The issue that my sister communicated to me was the pressure that they were put under to identify and establish ages and conditions as to whether a person was a candidate for a procedure or not. One example that she discussed with me was a person was X years of age and needed Y procedure.  The cost of the procedure was a set amount and they had to establish how much "useful" life the generic patient had left and if they could have a positive "cost benefit analysis" for the cost of the procedure. 

It is really easy to say that makes sense as a person that has been diagnosed as 6 months terminal with cancer and needs a knee replacement is not a candidate.  The person that has dementia and can not grasp or understand what is required to do the PT required after a hip replacement or knee replacement would not be a good candidate.

That is not what they were being required to establish.  Instead while it was based on different factors one, the biggest, was just simply age.  At a given age the patient did not have any useful return for the procedure.  It did not take into account the patient's overall health.  It created "buckets" of patients that were clumped regardless of any other conditions and everyone was treated as the same regardless of any other issues.

This clumping of everyone being the same regardless of overall health would be like the life insurance companies clumping everyone the same for establishing life insurance premiums.  The long term smoker that weighed 300 lbs with a cholesterol of 280 with a heart condition would pay the same life insurance premium as the person that never smoked, weighed 170 lbs and cholesterol of less than 130.  Everyone is the same at the same age no differences.

This group was tasked to evaluate the cost benefit based on an age determination for a given procedure as the population ages.  Basically you would not be a candidate for a given procedure after a specific age.  The ages that were being used was not 90+ nor was it the 80+ population either.

My sister described to me just how challenging it was for them, the group, to accomplish the assigned task.   They were basically tasked to say the patient has no value after a certain age and thus will not be a candidate for a procedure.  They did not like it at all.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2015, 11:22:32 AM »
One thing they have to consider with older patients is the increased risk from even "routine" procedures. Even going under anaesthetic becomes risky as you get older. If you knock out a hundred 80 year old patients, chances are one wont wake up.

Then it becomes a matter of weighing up the risk vs the benefits. Risk killing you now to check for something that might kill you in 20 years time? Or just leave it alone and maybe you die of a stoke @ 90, with some random polyps. So you risk the procedure, but don't actually gain any real benefit. It's like backing a race horse that only pays 90 cents to win.

When you are younger there is less risk to treat, and more to be gained. So when you are 50, and they treat some polyps that might have killed you by now, it was a good bet. Low risk, high return.

You don't want the good news, bad news thing.
Good news - no polyps.
Bad news - MM didn't wake up....


I remember when I had my first colonoscopy, I was not put under, I was a little groggy but still coherent and conversed with the Dr and watched the whole procedure on the video screen!
~Chuck~
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Offline pine

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Re: The Value of Life ??
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2015, 01:09:37 PM »
I remember when I had my first colonoscopy, I was not put under, I was a little groggy but still coherent and conversed with the Dr and watched the whole procedure on the video screen!

I did not know that they put anyone "under" for a colonoscopy.  I suppose it depends on the definition of "under" however.  Conscious sedation is a lay term that is used, 

My first and second colonoscopies were with nothing. Fully conscious.

The third they insisted the protocol required drugs.  Not knowing better and since the primary reason why the first two were without drugs no longer existed, I consented. The drug cocktail was Demerol and Versed. 
I will just say that after that, Versed will never ever be administered to me again!  It has no real purpose other that to create an amnesia type result for the patient of the procedure.  For me it was oh so much more.

Came time for the fourth colonoscopy and I was very, very specific that Versed was not authorized to be used under any circumstance.  The admin nurses insisted that I had to sign the anesthesia consent form.  I had already detailed, pre-scheduling, that Versed was not to be used.  I did not have a problem with the form (as I modified it) but they had a conniption when I wrote on the form that Versed was not authorized under any circumstance.  The protocol this time was for a cocktail of Fentanyl and Versed.  I am not a fan of Fentanyl (due to its side-effects) but was willing to tolerate it, but as a single drug only.  They IV'ed me up and I went on the table.  The Doc came in and I again repeated that no Versed was allowed but that I would accept the Fentanyl. She asked me if I wanted to go with nothing.  Of course I said yes and off we went.  She was a great gastroenterologist.  It was even less uncomfortable than the first two were. (Of course they were with the military and may not have had her level of expertise (military doc doing hundreds vs her thousands).  I will not say I enjoyed the prep but the actual procedure was fun.   I learned a lot and the doctor was a great. Ran my colon up to the Cecum, then explained to me what the Cecum does in most mammals and how it has "devolved" in humans.  Kind of like a teaching physician.  I just hope she is still available on the next iteration as I want her again.


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