Monday, November 23, 2009

The Cost of Dying -- 60 Minutes Video and Transcript

"Families cannot imagine there could be anything worse than their loved one dying. But in fact, there are things worse....Most generally, it's having someone you love die badly, suffering, dying connected to machines." -- Dr. Ira Byock, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center....
Last year, Medicare paid $50 billion just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients' lives. That's more than the budget of the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Education. And it has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenditures may have had no meaningful impact.

The vast majority of people say they want to die at home, but 75 percent die in a hospital or nursing home. Many Americans spend their last days in an ICU, subjected to uncomfortable machines or surgeries to prolong their lives.

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for news, advice, and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob has written more than 950 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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