Monday, June 28, 2010

Yahoo article on medical overtreatment

I can't say that I was shocked by the numbers in this article. What does leave me aghast is the fact that so many people are undergoing painful treatments that do not prolong life but incur incredibly large debts. I can't say how I'd react in this situation: I think I'd want to explore every option to save my husband and kids, but would I want them to do the same for me? I can't be so sure. I don't like the idea of leaving my family with massive debt. And I probably want to have some peace and comfort in my last days on earth -- to spend with those I love.

Articles like these shows the need for better education. If Americans were well-versed on their choices I think the ratios listed might be very different.


  1. Oh my goodness- that story was horrifying but so important to read.

    My dad had to have major cancer surgery almost two years ago- a complete laryngectomy- though he never smoked.

    He hasn't been back to the doctor since three months after that surgery, even for a check up.

    It scares me but there's no way to convince him to go back. He waited so long with the initial illness to begin with despite our pleas that he seek treatment (he kept saying he only had a 'scratchy throat' or we'd have had more options.

    He knows the five year survival rate for the kind of cancer he had. I have no doubt in my mind that he's already decided that he's done, no more. He declined follow-up radiation and chemo though his doctors pushed for it- they said it would make a small single digit difference in life expectancy and he just wasn't willing to suffer for it.

    So far, he's still going along pretty well. We just take every day as it comes.

    After seeing what I've seen in the cancer wards, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have a line I wouldn't cross- where I would say enough was enough.

    thank you for linking this.


  2. I think health care requires not just medicines but also proper education. That can only cure such rash uses of medication.


  3. This is very thought provoking in a good way, but still in a saddening tone.

    Makes me want to hug my family.