Monday, August 10, 2009

Why Doctors Need to be involved in the Health Care Debate:

Politicians don't know what they are talking about.

I'm following this debate about end-of-life care in the news. Basically, there is a provision in the House bill that adds Medicare coverage for you if you want to go to your doctor and discuss end-of-life care. My research shows it's a good idea to talk to your doctor while you are healthy, to discuss what types of medical interventions you would want if you became seriously ill.

Great idea! Right? Except it is blown into a conservative message of "the government is trying to kill you." The problem is the Democrats do not know how to defend it because they do not really understand the issue. Even Obama fumbled with it.

As physicians, we care about choice and honoring patients personal wishes. Often what happens is that people end up attached to tubes, never having the discussion with their doctor. The default is to keep them attached to tubes and sedated. Then the decision is put on the family to decide what to do with their elderly parent.

The idea of this provision is to have the doctor know ahead of time what the patient would want, so the decision is easier later on.

Honestly, it is discussion that should happen more. Maybe it doesn't happen because Medicare does not pay for that type of discussion. Thus, paying for these sessions is a good idea.

This exemplifies why doctor's need to be in this debate: to give the real story of what is happening every day. Obama should find doctor's and have them out on the road speaking for this reform. I'm not sure he is capable of it himself. So get involved doctors: www.npalliance.org




Debate Continues Around End-Of-Life Care - Kaiser Health News
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