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The Yesbuts

Read Kevin Drum on the Yesbuts. "These guys are infinitely worse than the flat-out nutters," Drum says, and he's right.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 24, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
 
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Comments

Drum hit the nail on the head. The comments made about the Krauthammer article on this web site show the same thing. Krauthammers article shows how stupid doctors can be sometimes, if they are defending Republican Party positions.
Republican legislators who supported end of life options previously have justified this as a reason to oppose health care reform. It is one of the most horrible examples of hypocrisy I have seen in politics.

Posted by: eadler2 | August 24, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I do not understand why doctors need a billable box to check off for engaging in end of life discussions. Absolutely do not understand that at all.

This idea of everything being billable is one of the serious flaws to our health care system.

However - end of life discussions are imperative with certain patients at certain times. I was the primary caretaker for my father when he was dying of cancer. I was 22; he was 54. Watching my father die of cancer, I saw that he reached a point, terrible indeed, when prolonging his life at any price would have been utter cruelty.

Believe me - words cannot express the cruelty of using available medical treatment to give him a week more of those dreadful cancer filled days. And our physicians, over time, held several "end of life" discussions with us, to educate and inform us of what we were facing.

The idea that "end of life discussions" "nudge" us toward death is ridiculous. Life nudges all of us toward death. Diseases like terminal cancer get us there even quicker.

One MUST have these discussions when dealing with terminal illness. And one must discuss this with one's doctor in order to get a complete picture of what one faces. Sometimes, what we face is only the "ghostly figure, scythe in hand."

It is a horrible absurdity to think that the debate over health care reform has turned "end of life discussions" into a danger to be avoided at all costs. I just don't understand why such a discussion now must become a billable entity.

Is health care really about applying a price to each and every word uttered by a physician to a patient? Are doctors avoiding these discussions simply because it's not billable time? That, then is a huge issue with the delivery of health care in America today.

Posted by: anne3 | August 24, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

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