This is a "Real" Death Panel

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Industrialsize, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    24,333
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    Governor Brewer has become a one woman death panel deciding who will live and who will die:

    PEORIA, Arizona (Reuters) - A pacemaker and defibrillator fitted to carpenter Douglas Gravagna's failing heart makes even rising from the couch of his Phoenix-valley home a battle.
    But it is not congestive heart failure that is killing him, he says. It is a decision by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
    (tea-party) to stop funding for some organ transplants as the state struggles to reduce a yawning budget deficit.
    "She's signing death warrants -- that's what she's doing. This is death for me," says Gravagna, 44, a heavy-set man who takes 14 medications to stay alive.
    Gravagna is among 98 people denied state Medicaid funding for potentially life-saving transplants and at the forefront of a harrowing battle over the state's public finances.
    The measure enacted last October by Brewer trimmed spending on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program, to help close a projected 2012 budget deficit of $1.15 billion.
    It eliminated coverage for transplants including lung, heart, liver and bone marrow after weighing the success and survival rates for certain transplant procedures.


    Arizona Budget Cuts Target Potentially Life-Saving Care For Transplant Patients
     
    #1 Industrialsize, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  2. chamisaguy

    chamisaguy Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    369
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Santa Fe NM, USA
    To quote Speaker Boehner: "So Be It" --- expect more of the same, I'd say, from the current batch of politicos at State and Congressional levels.
     
  3. houtx48

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7,095
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    Did RuPaul's sister Jan Brewer ever find those dead bodies in the desert she was harping about?
     
  4. D_Wilburforce Throttlebottom

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    2
    As a medical student and someone who wants to be able to have the resources to treat patients I can sympathize with this individual.

    But as a free man living in a free society I do not believe any entity be it government or some political faction should be able to confiscate or advocate the confiscation of my wealth and property for the benefit of another. There are certain things government should provide, chief among them is the defense of our republic. Other societal benefits are road systems, ports, airports, public education and public safety. I believe also that there are people among us that can not care for themselves and will never be able to and that government should provide some assistance to them.

    But at what point does personal responsibility begin? And to what point can we force people to cough up more of their incomes to support what might be in fact good programs? I do not know the specifics of this man's situation and examples such of these, heart breaking as they are, can always be found.

    Health insurance is not a right any more than car or home or other types of insurance are. The government should not be able to compel people either to buy it or for others to pay for yours or for taxpayers to disproportionally pay for medical programs.
     
    #4 D_Wilburforce Throttlebottom, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  5. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    That argument does sound good, but should you ever need state assistance for any reason - unemployment, illness, what have you - would you turn it down? This is where the concept of "the commonwealth" can be helpful: Taxes are not the "confiscation" of wealth to benefit one individual at the expense of another; they represent a pooling of resources that then become available to benefit anyone - including you - who needs them.

    Exactly.

    I'm not sure I understand your objection here. If they are "good programs" that benefit everyone - including you - why would you not want to support them? Granted, there's a huge difference between supporting freeloaders and helping people who genuinely need assistance, but that's not really an argument against supporting the programs that yield benefits; it's really an argument for ensuring that the people who claim the benefits actually need them.

    However, since a healthy population benefits society as a whole - higher productivity, greater efficiencies, less needless suffering and death due to contagious illnesses - one could argue that promoting health through preventive care and public health initiatives is a public good and thus falls under the government's domain.

    I guess the problem is that we have different views of society: I feel that society should provide a safety net for those who need it, whereas your post indicates that you feel each person should be responsible for his or her own safety net. I agree with you on that - to an extent; planning ahead is certainly a wise thing to do. There are, however, plenty of people whose economic circumstances do not give them any means of providing their own safety net - especially under the current economic circumstances. In those cases - determined by actual needs - I feel that society should step in and lend a hand to help out. (Well, no, actually, I feel that society should step in and fix the problems that are leaving so many people without the resources they need to get by, but, barring that, a safety net is better than simply tossing people under the bus and saying, "Oh, well, they didn't take enough personal responsibility!")
     
    #5 phillyhangin, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  6. midlifebear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,908
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nevada, Buenos Aires, and Barçelona
    Sorry, willhorse: Your post does not convince me you're going into the medical profession for the right reasons. The physicians I know and hang out with (non of them are in the USA, of course) practice medicine because they have a serious belief they should do as much as possible to help others rather than help themselves.
     
  7. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    24,333
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    The man is POOR. That's his situation. NO ONE SHOULD DIE BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD HEALTHCARE.
     
  8. houtx48

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7,095
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    Look at the age on Willhorse and that will tell almost everything you need to know. Males usually hit the height of intelligence around 18/19 and it declines to varies levels from there.
     
  9. D_Wilburforce Throttlebottom

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    2
    The right reasons? What are those? Just the ones that you agree with?

    I can tell you my reasons:

    1. My father and older brothers are Physicians, I have had an interest having been around it for so long which includes several trips to Africa with my Father to treat impoverished populations.

    2. Medicine is at its core about science and the human body, I have an interest in both.

    Medicine is a wide area with divergent specialities. Some of which do not even deal with patient care. Would you prefer that your Pathologist, Anesthesiologist, Radiologist, Oncology Researcher etc. be aligned with a particular political view or be competent? Certainly one could be both but you seem to apply a litmus test that favors the the former over the later.

    It seems arrogant and insulting (a common trait in this forum) that you think I am not capable of practicing medicine because I do not hold a certain political view, or one that you are comfortable with. I can easily counter your argument about the Physicians that you know with ones that I know that agree with me. Doe that make them less competent?

    My Father is far more to the right politically then me. He is also a very experienced Trauma Surgeon and is a tenured member of a Medical School. Would you prefer that he not treat you should you find yourself critically injured? Would you prefer someone with a more liberal view point but less experience?
     
  10. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,413
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunny SoFla
    I do not have any kind of litmus test regarding the political affiliation of any given medical professional as regards treatment of the myriad health issues I live with every day. However, I have experienced, in at least two cases, where their beliefs have had serious, adverse consequences to my health.

    The more benign of the two revolved around a sudden onset of intense, garden-hose type diarrhea that I was experiencing about 11 years ago. Having lived with HIV for 27 years (15 of those years in treatment), I am an unusually well-informed patient who prefers to consider himself an active partner in his care. This bout of digestive troubles came directly after a switch in meds, which was its most likely cause; my infectious disease specialist tended to agree, but wanted a second opinion from a well-known and respected GI specialist, so I scheduled an appointment.

    During our initial consultation, he asked me some extremely personal questions as regards my sexual habits (at that time I was in a long-term monogamous relationship with a fellow poz) which I felt bore little direct connection between the problem at hand and its proposed treatment, but as he was the medical pro, I answered as frankly and directly as possible. His immediate diagnosis (before any tests or cultures had been run) was parasites contracted as a result of analingus which I'd confirmed was part of my standard sexual repertoire: an act he felt was deeply repulsive (and told me so).

    When I mentioned that I'd been doing it for years with no indication of parasites, and that as likely a cause of my sudden onset of intense diarrhea was the new medication (that being a well-known side effect and listed right on the label), he condescendingly sniffed and reminded me who was (and was obviously not) the medical professional. As a result, I agreed to a series of tests involving my furnishing stool samples three times per week, at my inconvenience (each trip added at least an hour to my morning commute to work) and expense ($60 co-pay per culture), more to humor him than for any other reason. Despite never finding evidence of any parasites, this continued for over four months, as his only other explanation for my situation was "drinking swamp water": his contempt was palpable. His main recommendation (aside from massive amounts of Immodium) was celibacy and "prayer".

    The reason why this travesty (only) continued for four months was that blood tests confirmed that this new med was ineffective in suppressing my virus. Within days of its discontinuance, not only did the trouble disappear, but I gained seven pounds of water that I'd been shitting away every day (despite all that Immodium). During our final session, at which I fired the GI doctor, calling him a bigot, he returned the favor by labeling me a "pervert who'll burn in hell".

    This was in New Haven, CT, FWIW.

    The second was a pain specialist who, despite years worth of MRI films documenting the disc degeneration in my cervical spine, was convinced that the real issue was advanced nerve degeneration caused by HIV, which he claimed was wreaking havoc on my central nervous system. His prognosis was a persistent vegetative state within 12-18 months; this was in 2002. Needless to say, he was in error. Despite being a tenured professor at Yale Medical School, his arrogant contempt for me (and obvious homo/AIDSphobia) was as plain as day.

    I eventually fired not just him, but the infectious disease specialist (a gay man, BTW) who'd made the referral and who stood behind that quack even after he'd been proven wrong by a neurologist in NYC, whose ~$750 office fee I had to self-pay, as he was out of my insurance provider's network.

    IMO, anyone who embarks on a medical career while harboring deeply-held prejudices against patients (who do, after all, pay his salary) and who let such prejudices intrude on his work aught best stick with research, especially if his/her primary motivation for entering the field is rooted in anything other than an altruistic concern for the betterment of mankind.
     
  11. midlifebear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,908
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nevada, Buenos Aires, and Barçelona
    I'd prefer he keep his personal beliefs, left or right, good or bad, out his surgery. And while he is at it he is welcome to see his patients in his consultation office within 5 minutes or less than the agreed on appointment times rather than bumping the next patient to se the pharmacy company rep to learn of the "newest" drugs they are pushing and accepting kickbacks. And he (as well as you) can drop the god complex. He's a fucking surgeon and not Moses.

    One of the perqs that became a great surprise when I left the USA (and you might tell your father that the USA DOES NOT have the best medical expertise in the world) is that when you make an appointment in Spain for 13:00 PM you had damn well show up at 13:00 PM. Same goes for Argentina, where I'm currently staying for a few more weeks. The facilities, such as the medical schools, may be in need of repair and upgrade, but the hospitals as well as the medical training are world class. In addition, these happen to be two places in the world where there are more physicians, surgeons, and medical professionals than necessary. There isn't a great competition among physicians and health care workers. Instead, something rather amazing happens: the cream rises to the top without any back door incentives to get rich. The less than competent end up finding work in non-medical professions. When you enter even the most humble clinic in the Argentine Provinces you are assured that the medical personnel attending you, especially if you're unlucky to be suffering an emergency medical situation, are the best and brightest you're ever going to meet.

    And as I stated in my previous post, they are there for the right reasons: to help people. It's not just a job. Unlike the USA, the emphasis in medicine throughout most of the world has been to treat and care for the entire patient --- not just to cure what obviously needs attention. There is very little assembly-line medicine except in the poorest Provinces with the lowest populations.

    Looking back I clearly remember the eyes of the surgeon who, two days earlier, had performed an unnecessary bypass surgery on my dad. The doctor (surgeon) was rushng back from lunch. My dad had just died. My father's gerontologist had just signed the death certificate. I was going outside to sit down and make a list. That surgeon, the same person my own Internist had recommended I consult for gall bladder surgery several years earlier, had not slept for at least two days and his pupils were huge -- an indication that he was most likely sucking on some class A narcotic to keep him steady. Believe me when I say I know doctors. My dad's Internist who thought he was just as qualified to treat a senior citizen with senior health needs than a certified gerontologist I located via word of mouth from other physicians, is still a nice, rolly-polly man who keeps going to clinics to kick a bad oxycodone habit he's been suffering for more than 20 years. And can you believe it? He's still allowed to practice medicine in Ewetaw. Probably because "he's special" and wears the right kind of magic underwear.

    Since leaving the USA in the 1990s I have yet to have a physician look at me as if he or she were looking at a BMW payment or braces for their eight children's teeth. It's a much different -- and substantially better -- world for patients outside of the USA who DO NOT have the resources of Dick Cheney to keep them alive and are at the mercy of for-major-profits-over-health-benefits insurance companies.

    And finally, just because other members of your family are physicians does not automatically signify that you are going to become the next Dr. Kildare. Nor does it mean your siblings are substantially "ahead of their class" in the medical arts. Chances are, you're not. Especially in the USA.

    So, you think I'm arrogant? So does every physician I've consulted in the USA regarding medical procedures, their cost, and percentages of success.

    I grew up in a part of the USA where we are known as "downwinders." Have any idea what that means? It means my family and I lived within the down wind path of radio active clouds caused by above ground nuclear testing that began in 1945 and which was finally halted by world treaty in late 1980. Cancer is a common thing in the part of Ewetaw where I grew up and it continues to be unusually high from Las Vegas to a widening pattern east over southern Ewetaw/Arizona, Colorado/New Mexico, Texas/Oklahoma.

    I just recently opted to have what would have been considered "elective" surgery in the USA. I had a black spot removed from my ass that turned out to be just what it looked like: melanoma. Yup, it was in the USA, and especially Ewetaw (where medical care is the best in the whole world . . . he typed seething with sarcasm), and the dermatologist suggested "we" wait and see. Wait and see? Fuck that!

    I consulted two dermatologists when I arrived in Buenos Aires December 1st. They both sent me packing to have the suspect spot removed at a local clinic by two plastic surgeons. After the Versed had worn off enough that I just "felt good" the plastic surgeons called a pathologist they work with and sent me off with my own tissue samples in a taxi where the pathologist's receptionist was waiting curbside. Two weeks later I underwent a 3-hour session of slice and dice, but not until I had had a complete lab work up, MRI, tomography, and x-rays. That little "wait and see" spot was a Stage III melanoma. Stage IV is death.

    Wait and see my fucking ass. It was my decision to have them cut out an unusually large chunk of my right butt cheek during the 3+ hours of having the two plastic surgeons remove everything marked as "suspect" by a radiologist, including a fistful of lymph nodes in my groin and arm pit. I've yet to pay more than $3,800 for everything -- all surgeries, consults, lab work, drugs, private rental of a surgery, the salaries of surgical room personnel -- need I go on? And the honoraraiums (cost of the surgeons' work) were $800 US, each. And despite being a bit cranky about having a scar in my groin that no one will ever see once my pubic hair grows back, I feel rather fortunate for a man who turned 66 years-old today. My plastic surgeons have assured me there's plenty of fat they can suck out of my left butt cheek next year to fill in the hole I'll have to live with for a while.

    And that's the fourth cancer I've had dealt with out side of the USA since 1995. Hell, I was able to put the Cholecystectomy I had done five years ago at Hospital Austral in the Province of Buenos Aires on my American Express Delta Sky Miles card. I paid a whopping $1,495 for 24-hour in-patient surgery and care, plus I got sky miles. My twin nieces (then aged 24) had the exact same surgery in Salt Lake City that same year and their deductibles were more than $2,000. Checking in to the Hospital Austral was like checking in to the Omni Park, Chicago, but without bed bugs.

    If you're seriously interested medical research, fine. Go for it. But from what I've read in your posts, I wouldn't recommend you end up in a specialty where you actually come in contact with patients.
     
    #11 midlifebear, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  12. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Actually, I think it's more that males hit the height of "I'm immortal and will never ever be in a situation where I might need someone else's help" at that age, and then as we get older and our bodies start showing unfortunately signs of mortality, we start to realize that maybe having a safety net in case of unforeseen circumstances could - just possibly - be a good thing after all.
     
  13. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Well said. I've had appointments where I was on time and had to wait over an hour and a half to see a doctor because there was a steady stream of pharma reps in between patients. In one case the doctor actually had the gall to act all huffy when I complained that things were so far behind schedule that I couldn't see him that day (I had another appointment I had to go to) and that I would not be rescheduling with him.
    I'm sorry to hear that. My mother was at an appointment for something unrelated and the nurse found a suspicious spot which turned out to be stage III melanoma. Fortunately, in her case, they acted on it quickly, so she's still here, but the tests showed that the cells had migrated toward her bloodstream; if they'd waited even a week, it would've been too late.

    And btw, happy birthday!
     
  14. D_Davy_Downspout

    D_Davy_Downspout Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your first part doesn't jibe with your second. If you live in a society, you give up some of your income to taxes. That is how it is.

    You tell me. I believe it starts at the first tax dollar. And we're certainly not paying a lot, with taxes at historic lows and tax revenues as well.

    Not in any other industrialized nation in the world, actually. It's pretty uniquely American.

    Correct, but healthcare is a right. If you disagree, you're in the wrong business.

    Actually that's the only way insurance works. You are always paying for someone else, and they you. Look up the term "risk pool".

    The other fun part is that a single payer healthcare system would cost about half, per capita, what we pay now. So you'd literally pay less in taxes.
     
    #14 D_Davy_Downspout, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  15. D_Wilburforce Throttlebottom

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    2

    Health Care is a right?


    Where in the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution for those of you outside the USA or who went to public school in the USA) does it say that? Or anywhere in the Constitution? That is the document that decrees what rights we as citizens hold.

    Fine you think it should be right, but that is not the same thing. But at least realize the difference.

    As for living in a society and paying taxes, I have not problem. How about we agree that you and I (assuming you live in the USA) pay equally on a percentage of our income rather than a sliding scale based on what you or I make? That seems fair.

    What is not fair is the present system where about half the population pays no income tax and about 25% of the population pays 75% of what the Fed collects.
     
  16. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,516
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Boston, MA / New York, NY
    Stop using the Bill of Rights as a body shield and focus on the real issue. There are many things we as American citizens take for granted everyday that aren't listed in the Constitution.

    BTW, the flat tax doesn't work either. 5% of a middle class income is not the equivalent of 5% of an upper class income. The fact someone makes more money than someone else is not a proper indicator that someone works harder. Also, do keep in mind that EVERYONE pays taxes. They don't only count on April 15th when some people get refunds and others do not, or quarterly if you own a business.
     
  17. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    24,333
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    "only the "Little People pay taxes"
    Dame Leona Helmsley
     
  18. D_Sir Fitzwilly Wankheimer III

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, being a fat ass is his death warrant.
     
  19. MercyfulFate

    MercyfulFate New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,204
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    The argument that if it isn't in the constitution it shouldn't be, is so asinine it hurts. Bet that's what everyone said about women's rights, etc. etc.
     
  20. Cuddler

    Cuddler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    Don't insult those of us that went to public schools.

    Where does it say you get public schools?
    Where does it say you get public roads?
    Where does it say you get a fire department?
    Where does it say you get a post office?
    Where does it say you get public libraries?
    Where does it say you get ... I guess you get the picture.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted