…Is that the only option?
Anthony Mirhaydari builds a valid argument with strong premises. I agree with most of his statements in his recent article:
I agree with Mirhaydari that:
— “We’re taxing young people and running up debt to fund an overpriced system and offer end-of-life ‘care’ that may not do much good.”
— “But by avoiding the issue, we’re choosing to increase the burden on future generations by piling on debt, raising taxes, weakening our defenses, neglecting needed investments and generally damaging the future vitality of the country.”
— “If we’re going to truly address the long-term budget problems that threaten the welfare of our children and our children’s children, we need to address Medicare and, in particular, end-of-life care.”
— “And we can no longer afford to fund this failure, with the national debt set to soar from $16.7 trillion now (or $53,000 for every man, woman and child) to $25 trillion by 2023, a 49% increase.”
— “If we’re going to end this slide into the fiscal abyss and stop the intergenerational heist, we need to address both the cost of care and the fact that so much goes to giving a few more days of low-quality life to the terminally ill.”
All valid statements I can rally behind. Mirhaydari concludes, I paraphrase: “So, now we fight to the death.”
Is that the only option?
What we don’t need is bigger government. What we don’t need is “death panels.” What we do need (which happens to be the answer to almost all government-made problems) is individuals to take personal responsibility. The right action is to take personal responsibility and:
1) Talk with our loved ones and family members about end of life wishes,
2) Establish a Health Care Proxy (Health Care Power of Attorney), &
3) Document an Advance Health Care Directive (Living Will).
I’ve never been a primary decision maker in a loved one’s end of life experience. I’ve played a support role to primary decision makers a few times.
In all cases we needed more direction from the ailing loved one (enter the Living Will) & legitimated power to make tough decisions (enter the Health Care Power of Attorney). We did not need a bureaucrat to tell us that mamma has to die to make room in the budget for more valuable members of society!
Its not the only option!
© 2013, Dr. Phil Bryant
Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.