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Sunday, February 8

With the rising cost of health care, should age play a factor?

By JoNel Aleccia
Health writer
msnbc.com




At 102, Thelma Vette likes to whiz around her Littleton, Colo., retirement center in an electric wheelchair, bright red and outfitted with a joystick.

She certainly can walk if she wants to, and often does, thanks to the total knee replacement surgery she had two years ago, when she was merely 100...

Read the rest at here



The article poses this question:"In a country where health care costs are fast outpacing the ability to pay, and where it’s feared that the federal Medicare program could fail within a decade, should doctors perform surgery on the elderly just because they can? Or are limited resources better reserved for younger people who will benefit longer?"

What do you think?

118 comments:

Valrico Gee said...

I don't believe age should be a factor.
If we, as a society, began to consider age for quality of life issues, wouldn't we be putting a monetary value on that life?
If we did that, wouldn't we be in danger of putting the same value on other lives as well. At what cost should we continue to care for people with AIDS or cancer? How many babies with terrible diseases should we let live? Should we let mentally challenged people have health care? If people are incarcerated, should they receive health care?
Wasn't there a man who began to place a value on a one race of people above another? I believe Adolph HItler was his name.
We are a very fickle society that is prone to fear motivation. We cannot let fear motivate us to consider anyone less valuable than others.

CON_to-the_WAY said...

I think health care IS out of this world at this point. I understand that elderly people have a purpose and are dearly missed when they pass, but why should they receive million dollar surgeries if they only live a few more years afterwards? It seems harsh but in reality there are thousands of younger people and even kids and babies who need these million dollar surgeries. Eventually money saved for a lifetime will be taken away to pay for all the million dollar expenses that people rack up in the hospital. I believe certain surgeries should cost a lot but others, such as simple procedures done in less than an hour should not cost thousands. The amount of money the parts used in the process don't even amount to an eighth of the surgeons check! Health care needs to start regulating its costs and spending seriously.

MikeATLfalcons said...

i dont think that age should be a factor. there are some people that are young but they really need health insurance a lot more than someone who is elderly. we need to equally spread healthcare amoung all u.s citizens and not generalize it to a certaint group of people over another group. peolpe think that just beacause that ypu are older that you should be given things even though other people are much more sick like babies and others.

Redder said...

I personally think that everyone in the United States should have healt insurance. Even in times like we are in everyone cant afford health insurance and some companies dont offer it. I dont understand why we charge while people in the world dont charge and give it out for free. I think they just want the money or whatever but i dont think its right. As for age, I think that still think that everyone should get it . A life is a life and not everyone should be given or not given depending on their age or stature in the united states. Thats the thing about the United states they make everything so there is no diffinitive answer and always loop holes around everything. I personally think we got peopel who are just greedy running our country and messing up everything or making laws that only abide to certain levels of society

BabyBri22 said...

I believe that the age really shouldnt matter. And i also agree that we should all have health insurance. Noone would really have anything to complain about if that were the case. I also have a granfather who is ninty that just had a surgery and he is walking and everything and has the life on a sixty year old. I really belive age doesnt matter we could all really die tommorow and not know it so why should we want to not give someone a right to money for surgery just because of their age.

wissam said...

I think we have two different situation the first situation the older people they think should get a health insurance because they working hard all them life and some make a payment all them life to have health care insurance. The other situation the old people they pass 85 years old and they still looking for health care insurance, and they still receive money for health insurance and we have million of younger people cannot have money for the health care insurance. And I think the youngest people they need the health care insurance more the oldest people, if they don’t have money, But if the people young or older has money so they should pay for them health insurance.

medina said...

I don’t think age plays a factor with the rising cost of health care. Health care is entitled to every single person no matter how old, young or if they are black or white. As result discrimination shouldn’t take place again elderly people. I believe the health care should be evenly distributed among all U.S citizens. I also agree with what “CON_to-the_way” said about modifying the cost of surgeries, simple surgeries that only take and hour and that are not too risky should cost thousand of dollars, this can be a way to regulate the rising cost of health care.

ianschmidt said...

There should not even be a question as to whether elderly have the same access and right to health care as young people. Are we still a free country if anyone flies to Mexico for heart surgery because an American medical system said no you’re too old to save? Let us not forget that the generation whose lives are up for debate paid into a tax system for more than fifty years and fought world wars to protect our freedoms. I agree with Valrico Gee's comment about fascism. If we put our elderly out to pasture it becomes harder for them to contribute to the family. We should all take great pride in how we treat our elderly as to teach the younger generation why topics such as this one are so silly. Comparing dying babies to folks knocking on death's door makes for a very hot topic but I sincerely doubt that a doctor has to choose between the two. Country's with less wealth than ours have figured out ways to help both the young and old. Maybe we should look at the budget.

Athena Smith said...

The problem we have in this country is that there are 43 million uninsured Americans. they are not poor, because the poor qualify for MEDICAID. They are lower middle classes or middle classes who can not afford the premiums. For a couple in their late 40s or 50s the premiums can top $20,000 a year if they are paying out of their pocket.

How do we bring these costs down? I believe it's too late. We let the system spin out of control and instead of acknowledging the mess, we shifted ideologies in order to fir the new reality. We say "health coverage is not a right but a privilege."

Redder siad that other countries give it for free. They don't. They tax you for it but it is an equitable form of taxation, a percentage of your salary. Here in the US, this basic logic is missing. You have a company where the salaries range from $30,000 to $3 million let's say. The contributions to the health coverage are the same for every employee. So the lower salary worker pays the same as the CEO.
In a universal health plan, the premiums are different for every employee, and are a percentage of his/her salary.

In a universal health plan, the government becomes the main insurance company and the hospitals are most likely public. Quite a few problems here as well, but at least every one has a shot.

Although we have been talking about a universal health plan, I do not see the US moving towards the concept of public hospitals.

NeillB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cashmere said...

We do not deny health care to anyone in America. To do so would be unfair, discriminatory and heartless.

If a baby is born four months early we do everything possible to keep it alive. Thousands of dollars a day in care and every parent feels the same; use all medical procedures available to save our child.

There are NO guarantees people! Any one of us can be dead tomorrow.
Doctors do not just take any "old" person to surgery, they have to have a reasonable chance of survival. If you are a viable 100 year old and you need a knee replacement, that is reasonable. If someone needs a liver, heart, kidney or lung they too have to have a reasonable chance of survival. They must be free of drug and alcohol use; tests (are) frequently given during the waiting period. Their blood counts have to be within a certain range.

Medicine and machines (can) keep a "dead" person alive now. You and I have to decide where to draw the line for ourselves, and for our loved ones.

We do still have that right...

Nydia said...

I really don’t see age as a factor. If they have the insurance and the surgery is needed then why not? Regardless of their age they are still humans and for anyone to think that “we should save it for the younger because they last longer” I believe to be heartless. How many times have younger people and even babies have had surgery and still don’t make it too much long after. It’s not a guarantee to anyone. Age isn’t even the issue here. A person is a person; a human. Even if an elderly person has surgery and passes away not to long after, those extra days with their loved ones are PRICELESS. You cant put a price to a person’s life.

dr123 said...

First of all, Con_to-the_WAY must be confusing this article with doing some sort of maintenance to her car. I would like to hear her opinion when she has done nothing but "age" and a surgeon tell her "Im sorry, but you will have to stay in a wheelchair because your age dictates the quality of life that you have to endure"; then go on to say "Im sorry but your son, daughter, sibling, friend or whomever will now how to sacrifice to take care of you because a simple surgery will not be given, because you are too old!" Do not get me wrong, I know that our health care system blows and it needs LOADS of reform. I do not know what the answer is (I hope our new president has a few ideas) but I do know that I would not want to be the person who told someone else that a simple surgery would be denied to them for no other reason than their age.

JaneKennedy said...

Despite our current economic situation, putting an age limit on any element of health care is silly. I understand the need to "evaluate and eleminate" in order to lower our spending, but some things should not be touched. Procedures that assist with improving health should be left to the individual and sometimes family members to decide. When it comes to healthcare, education, and safety, money should not be the leading factor. With this idea, outrages ideas such as placing age limits on health care will cease to surface.

Nurse73 said...

Healthcare benefits and care should not be discriminated by age, race, culture or gender. Yes, there are millions of unfortunate Americans that are not medically insured and others that can’t afford it, but again, the elderly should not reap the consequences of care because others can’t or the care is delegated to the younger society. Age is a discrimination that happens everywhere and everyday....the younger generation will someday be older and part of the geriatric society….It is up to the healthcare system to be able to refine and budget money spent, allocated, and used for EVERYONE to benefit, no matter where u come from and how many ailments you have or don’t have.

JaneKennedy said...

I meant "outrageous" . lol
I would also like to say, these elderly people have worked all their lives, paying for this "health care" that is now "too precious" for them to use. I guess their tax dollars are not as good as ours. Also, we spend millions each year to help children take care of children, who pays for that?.....The!y haven't.....More likely, the elderly have! Some of the elderly continue to pay when they turn around and get part-time, low paying jobs just to get the medication that they wouldn't need if they recieved surgeries to eliminate their sicknesses.

thor177 said...

This article is more about money than it is about "surgery after 70". The big reason the practice is being criticized is not so much that the surgery may be more risky for the over 70 patient, but that the costs of the surgery could be more well spent on the younger generation. I get very angry when I continually read stories like this that make the patient look like the problem, when the real problem is how much health care in the US costs today. And who says that surgery on a younger person is more "cost effective?" If a younger person needs major surgery, wouldn't that mean that person is not your normal younger person. Who is to say how productive that younger person will be after the surgery? Couldn't the younger person actually be a bigger burden on the health care system if the surgery keeps them alive for many more years, needing more costly surgery and treatment? What kind of signal is it sending when an age limit is placed on quality of life? We are all going to get old someday, God willing.

Sickabyss said...

No, because if we cut the elderly off from health what happens when we ourselves become elderly. This decision has repercussions that are just as bad for us if we follow through with it. We shouldn't take what a person has to keep them living healthy longer lives. The largest threat is if we cut off one we'll cut off others. Later it would be the sick or the crippled or so on and so forth, and that’s a factor I don't feel like dealing with ever. To summarize it all: we would be cutting off the people who raised us, the people who raised the people who raised us, and eventually ourselves; so it’s a stupid idea.

!SmAshleyBaxterBaby! said...

This is basically describing one life as more important or more valuable than the next. Age does not matter, each person whether young or elderly share a factor of special meaning to their family and should have the same opportunity for surgery. If my grandmother was to become ill and required surgery to save her life I would expect her chance of surgery to be the same of an infant who may need the same percedure. My grandmothers life is priceless, all the money in the world could not amount to what she is worth in my eyes. Opinion wise, I disagree with any age boundaries on surgery. The doctor clears the individual and approves that person can with stand and thrive from the operation, and the funds are covered then they should be allowed to participate. People might agree with the age criteria now but later on in life when you yourself are placed in this very situation your outlook might be slightly different.

Xx Human Rights xX said...

We should never consider age as a reason to discriminate against another human being. They were young once, and we all most likely will be old too. Everyone should pay the same across the board and we fix the healthcare system instead of unfairly finding reasons to charge others more. Look at Canada's healthcare system. It may not be perfect, but it's progress. Our healthcare system is advanced only in technology, not in the ability to function normally and rationally.

JrSwiFEY said...

I don't believe that age should have anything to do with this because even though the ellderly are old and literally living to the point where anyday could be there last, i still dont believe that just because they are the elderly does not mean that they shouldn't recieve proper medical care surgeries. i understand that yes there are younger peolpe in the world who can benefit from the surgeries alot longer than the elderly can but what are we as a society supposed to do?? Are we juST going to let the elderly die without trying to save them? Medical surgeries are very expensive but i believe that the cost of simple procedures should not be that expensive. We should make everything fair for everyone and not let age be the main factor in this whole ordeal.

krisie2kyute said...

Because the whole situation is being based on medicare, I don't believe the elderly should be getting million-dollar surgeries just because they can. The scenario that is playing in my head is:
A healthy ten-year-old child got into a car accident and after getting to the hospital, surgeons decide he needs a new heart.
An elderly woman was in the same accident and also needs a heart. She is also healthy (for her age, 75).
Who should get the heart?
I say the little boy. It will be much more beneficial to him in the long-run. Especially when the elderly woman surpassed the life expectancy.

My point is not only the quality of life of the reciever, but also the money going in to the procedure. Medicare should be available to all, but unfortunatley, there is no supervision or regulation on the money being spent and that is why most of us won't be taking a bite of the "medicare pie." I'm certainly not saying that if a person has the money to get certain operations done they shouldn't; it's there money. But when everyone is putting into the pot, everyone should benefit.

I think the knee surgery was unnecessary. She does not have a job nor does she need one, so no labor work is needed. She seemed mobile enough to get around with a chair. The money could have been saved.

NeillB said...

Age should definitely not be a factor because how do you justify that a younger person has more of a right to have a surgery than an elderly person just based on age. Some elderly have suffered for many years until recently being able to have a surgery to let them enjoy the last years of their lives. Severity of the condition should be the main factor. Also, many who are younger may be against older surgeries because they aren't thinking from the other side. I guarantee if they were elderly looking for a surgery their view would be different. I try to look from every angle when I come to an opinion and I know that if I were older and needed a surgery to enhance the quality of my last years I would want the opportunity. I feel that, for the most part, each old person looking for surgery is somebody's grandmother or grandfather and I know I would do anything to make my grandparents last years as enjoyable as possible.

KSVL2404 said...

I think that age should not be a factor, I think that doctors and other health professionals should not be so greedy and do their job for the good of man kind, I don't think we should take away from the elderly so the future generations have a shot of having Medicare, We should find away in trying to keep Medicare going for generations to come. The fact that you could be dying, but not have enough money or health benefits, keeps you from getting the care you need, seems barbaric to me, Something needs to be fixed in trying to keep this program going and to help everybody in this country, not just elderly but anybody that needs it.

Shane Lawrence said...

Well imagine that, one more social program that is ran by the government that is failing. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Welfare, all programs created by the government, ran by the government, and ultimately failing, not at the expense of the government, but the taxpayer. Government is a damn joke, and they cannot run anything efficiently. The only true solution Is complete deregulation and privatization. It’s time for people to open up their eyes and realize that these stupid social experiments just do not, and cannot, work out. I agree absolutely that we need to take care of our elders. The problem with all these programs is that we started spending money in their name (Medicaid etc.) when in fact we were drawing from a broke account. These programs were doomed from the beginning . Also we have way too many individuals freeloading the system and taking dividends from negative deposits. People are not ENTITLED to anything they have not earned. That is why this country is in such a mess. For too long the focus has been on the sub-human, abnormal, underachiever demanding a handout, when in fact we need to be nurturing and guiding the very best, brightest and ablest to new levels of achievement and glory. This country was not founded and cannot continue to be the greatest in the world with this monstrosity of a philosophy currently heading society. However, back to the question if one choice needs to be made between the elderly and the young the choice is simple. The choice is simple, you cannot forsake your future for the present, and as unpopular of a decision as it may be, the youthful must come first. It is time for everyone in this country to understand that we are in one hell of a mess, some unpopular decisions need to be made, and rational thought trumps “fairness.”

NotOfThisWorld said...

Whether a person is 10, 50, or 100 years old, he/she is still a living human being and deserves the right to have medical care. I disagree with what Callahan said about the duty of medicine is not to keep old people alive but to get young people to become old. I believe that the majority of the surgeries, especially in this 102 year old woman’s case, are not to keep people alive longer but rather to improve their quality of life. She obviously did not need the knee replacement to stay alive, but it made the life she is still living on this earth a little better for her and the people around her. I believe the respect for elderly people has gone out the window; people treat them as if they had already passed away. By taking medical care away from the elderly because of limited resources and saving it to benefit the younger generation is treating the elderly like they have already ceased, so a person could never too old for surgery.

mellymel06 said...

Age should never be a favor in health care. everyone deserves the same respect and benefits no matter if they can pay or not. You can't put a price or timeline on a persons life.

luckydawg said...

I don't think age should play a role in deciding if someone needs surgery or not. If its an uneccesary surgery with more risks than benifits I could see not doing it. If americans can live longer now than in the past because medicine allows it. Then we should use our knowledge to help them live a better life. If we decide to stop doing surgery on people over say the age of 80, do you know how many people will die when surgery could have saved their life. So no we should not let age play a factor into health care.

trinity said...

This is a very tough question. Should the elderly have access to such surgeries - my answer is absolutely. But here we have a totally different question. Should the taxpayer cover the costs of these surgeries? I come from Canada, the land of the "free" health care. My response to those people that comment dreamy eyed about our greener grass in Canada is "Have you any idea how high taxes are in Canada? It's not free." I would like to see people take more responsibility for their personal health and care, not count on others to foot the bill. I believe that we should not cover these costs for anyone or at least do so very selectively. I believe that people should either be self insured or make sure their employer offers suitable benefits. These costs will eventually overwhelm the American taxpayers and the only option then will be to increase taxes or cut back on services available.

Britt said...

Well in respect to what the article stated, joint replacements are more for the older age group. The elderly generally gain the greatest benefit and are the majority of the patients for those types of surgeries. However, if we discussed organ transplants I would be prone to support organs going to younger people. Though I think an elderly person who is in good health other than a failing organ should be priority over a patient who is failing due to self-inflicted liver sarcoidosis or a pack a day smoker dying of lung cancer. Yes people do have the capacity to break those habits and addictions and go on to live a healthy life, but should those who are born with a condition or who develop a condition later in life have to suffer because the organ they needed went to someone who has squandered theirs? I think a medical board of directors was established for just this reason, some cases are far more person by person then the medically uneducated public would like to believe.

Rae Rae said...

Should the elderly have equal rights in surgical procedures? Yes they should!! Honestly age shouldn’t define who gets to have surgery or not. What should matter is if they really need it. The elderly are needing replacements just as much as the young and if they’re not dead yet then obviously we should stop treating them like they are! Those who are 70 plus should have the right to have surgery on what ever it is they need it on because they are still living and trying to keep their bodies healthy while they are still alive. I know I am still young but one day I will be over than 70 and I too will want to have equal opportunity of having surgery if I need it!

Nilo said...

I don't think age should be a factor in determine whether a person should receive treatment for something or not. Usually when doctors recomend a procedure or a treatment is because a patient needs it, at least that is my experience. If en elderly person needs some sort of surgery they should be able to get it because it will improve their physical health and in some cases that goes hand to hand with their emotional health and there is no price for health. If my grandmother is sick I will want her to be able to get help and I wouln't be happy with the idea of my grandma being in need of medical intervention and not being able to get it because she is over a specific age. Health and life is something that we all have the right to have.

Yellie08 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yellie08 said...

I would love to say that age doesn't matter, but it does. Our economy doesn't allow us to give everyone in the nation quality health care. There must be restrictions. It would be an ideal society to live in where a 72 year old citizen undergoes a surgical procedure worth hundreds of thousands of dollars through their health insurance. There is quite a difference between spending the money on a younger person who can benefit from the procedure by 30 years whereas and elderly person may only have a few months. Age shouldn't play a factor in health care, but it does, and many people have that to thank for the insurance they now have.

cesca23 said...

I also agree with Nelson... no one should be declined of surgery based on their age. Before we consider it based on age we need to then consider health, or even if they have insurance. If it were my family I want them to have that choice. We are a free country and if they don't allow someone to have surgery because of their age I don't consider us being free anymore. I do think that there are to many people that are getting hand outs from the country such as medicare, section 8 housing, and so on. Many people can and do work but what makes me upset is my parents work hard and have not been able to afford insurance so have to come out of pocket and find ways to do so until recently they got insurance and it helps out somewhat. So I believe people will make ways if it is something they need or want!

rkole4 said...

Age is only a number. Just like the color of a person's skin is just a color. It makes no difference who the human is. To deny one's rights is to deny everyone's rights. Quality of life and whether the operation should take place should be taken in a case by case scenario. Should someone be denied surgeory because of age? I think absolutely not. Grant you, a lot of elderly people do not have good health, but you must remember, there are also others with excellent health.
And if the person has money to support the surgeory, then the operation should definitely be carried out at that person's wish.

*(Stefany)* said...

I do not think age should be a factor in deciding whether someone should get surgery or not. If we have the technology to do it, then we should. It is not fair to discriminate the elderly and say that the young people would benefit more from a surgery. If you think about it, people die every day. No one knows how long he or she is going to live. No one has a right to say who can live longer and who can live less, just because of his or her age. It is just not fair. I think about my grandparents and I would not be happy for them to be discriminated just because of their age. Therefore, I believe anyone who needs a surgery, should get it done.

*(Stefany)* said...

I do not think age should be a factor in deciding whether someone should get surgery or not. If we have the technology to do it, then we should. It is not fair to discriminate the elderly and say that the young people would benefit more from a surgery. If you think about it, people die every day. No one knows how long he or she is going to live. No one has a right to say who can live longer and who can live less, just because of his or her age. It is just not fair. I think about my grandparents and I would not be happy for them to be discriminated just because of their age. Therefore, I believe anyone who needs a surgery, should get it done.

***Pre-Med Chick*** said...

Well first off, I feel that the comment made in the question stating that people should save surgery for the younger people because they would benefit from it more, is completely COLD!!! who are we to have the right to take away from the elderly just because they're older; people die 24/7 mainly younger people, so saying that they will benefit from it more is sort of a contradiction. If they have the insurance to pay for it & the need is there then they should definately have ALL the right in the world to have that surgery. We're all human & I don't think we as a people have the right to decide who lives or dies based on their age group it simply shouldn't be a FACTOR. I mean put yourself in the shoes of that elderly person that would love to have that possibility of an extra few years added on to their lives or think of it from that persons family's point of view; WHO WANTS TO LOSE A LOVED ONE? bottom line I COMPLETEY DISAGREE with this notion!!!!

Dani G said...

It definitely should not depend on age. Who says a young person should have to have more of a struggle to get the health care that they NEED? I think since the issue is the cost, that should be what's changed. Not just for the elderly, but for everyone. Even thinking about giving out healthcare depending on age is ridiculous. We're all people and we all deserve equal treatment at an equal cost.

anonsyg said...

I am torn between both sides of this situation. On one hand i am against selective surgery via medicare/medicade because as stated by many others its unjust and wrong. On the other side of the spectrum we have to consider if the medicare system started failing more and more, and could possibly collaspe entirely should that be allowed to happen? Help few but hurt many comes to mind when you think about a possible situation like that, people in there early 70s loosing medicare and in need of surgery would be screwed, how would they pay? With there already constantly shrinking savings funds that they are just barely making ends meet with? I think the issue is more when do you draw the line on quality of life to not negatively effect many others in a specific group, as the elderly are in this case. Also i think another issue is the outlandish cost of medical services in general that keep climbing, i somewhat understand the increase because of need to cover costs for malpractice inusrance and other such issues, but that is what really needs to be better looked at i feel. I guess this situation is a good push for public healthcare, which would supposedly somewhat aliveate this problem.

bleeding_heart_liberal said...

The elderly have paid their dues. We will all be old one day and should treat them the way that we would want to be treated. The elderly are more active today than in previous years and deserve to live full lives. Our health care crisis is much bigger than rather or not grandma should get a hip replacement at 80. I understand that the elderly are insured, while the young middle to lower class is not insured. The young do not need medical care as much as the elderly and the elderly have paid their entire lives for the benefits they are now receiving. We tend to think we are invincible and will never grow old, but we are setting the example now as to how we will expect to be treated when we are the elderly.

iLOVEpink said...

This is a difficult one to answer because, I don’t believe that we should turn away the elderly just because they are old it is completely bias. Maybe the solution is to only allow surgery to the elderly that can afford it without any major assistance or insurance paying for it completely, yet if our resources are that limited than maybe we should only allow surgeries to those who really need it, until we are able to find more resources, but that should be available to both the young and the old. So I guess that if this becomes a big issue surgeries will go to the ones who need it that most and everyone else will have to wait on a waiting list until they are able to have their surgery, kind of like they do with heart transplants, and any other major transplant.

dwendland said...

I usually read everyone’s post prior to me before making my comments, however this topic is either hotter than usual or I’m tremulously late in checking the Blog. I just can’t do it this time. So on to my own opinion.

Personally, it’s all about the numbers. Logistics, Statistics, etc… I’m not against giving “old(er)” people healthcare and I agree anyone of us can be dead at any time during the day, no one can foresee the future, and if you can please contact me because I have a lotto ticket I need you to buy. That having been said I believe an evaluation should take place of the person before a surgery is done. My father, some friends from church and I helped some neighbors move this past weekend. My father was the oldest person working in the move and outperformed just about everyone in the age bracket between he and myself. If the elder person’s body has the ability to withstand such surgery, and it will create a better way of life for them then I believe they should be entitled to have it done (whatever “it” maybe). If an endurance, strength, etc… (or whatever you want to call the test) is done and the percentage of survival, recovery is lower then what ever the lowest mark has been set at for it to be worthwhile, then deny them the surgery. Not for forever but allow them to retest regularly. This way weather a person is 26 but their body/organ age reacts to the test like it’s over 80 you can deny them, they might not make it another 15 years living like they do anyway. If an 80 year olds score shows their body to react like its 50 then I see no reason why they shouldn’t have whatever the procedure may be. This way anyone of any age would be denied. Who sets these limits, where is the cut off for the chart… I don’t know I’m just giving examples. Science, math and a large committee of people who claim to know something in the medical field will be the ones to set whatever this chart may be called. Along the economical and political side of it… that is a different topic for a different time. In my opinion, I only read this as a question about age, and if someone should be denied because of it. My response in short, No.

Loca said...

I feel that when your time is up its up weather your young or old, so it really should not be a problem. Doctors are going to perform surgery on anyone weather they are elderly and or young as long as they getting paid, everything is OK. My 78 year old grandmother had knee surgery and is up and running again, taking care of all of her grand and great-grand children. My family is so gland Medicare took care of it. I also truly believe in everyone in the United States having health insurance or better yet free health care.

Cesc_03 said...

So what,if she is old????

Nah, Age should not matter even though the cost of health care is rising. Like what Perls said its ok to conduct a surgery to old people as long as it can be done safely. Its not like all old people have the chance to have surgery anyways. Yes, it is definetely annoying that the money are coming from our pockets. But common people, money is just money!!no matter what we do, we still going to strive for money. Life is more meaningful than that!!So what, if she is old and only have few years, months, days, or even seconds to live?if those short time can be worthy, why not? we'll never know what a person might experience in those short time.

Lets us not be selfish to others, think of this way in every 100 elderly people around the world(i mean really old 80+) there is only 1 who is capable extending his/her life. If this country can afford it, why not?and also like what the dude said, what if that is your mother?would you tell her that she shouldn't have it because she is going to die anyways??put ourself to the situation before we speak people!!

if you are telling me that old people dont need it because its a waste of time and they are "JUST" going to die anyways, let me ask you this: why would our mother nurture us from our birth and spent thousands of dollars to secure our future if she knew we are JUST going to die at the end anyways???...your answer????exactly!!

every seconds of our life is worth it!! PEACE!!

kennyg said...

I dont believe that age should matter because elderly starts at 50and if they start a new law that at 50 you cant get surgery then your killing society quicker. Age shouldnt matter because its people that can be older in age and might need surgery and if they were to get surgery then maybe they well live longer. There are some elder people that have gotten surgery and because they got surgery they have lived longer. Just because kids are more reliable to live longer because they younger doesn't mean that older people shouldnt get the same chance. Just how people love kids, well they love there elders too and they wouldnt want to see them die all because now its a law or rule that you cant get surgery on older people. So personnaly to me age shouldnt be a factor because as long as your living you deserve a chance at still living in life.

Edwin Kim said...

I don’t think age should have anything to do with this. Yeah, I can understand that they are old and facing the death isn’t too far away, but they are still U.S citizens and more importantly, they are human being as well. Elders are important as much as children. The money should go to the needy, not to the greedy. I can see that some people may think young people in the world who can benefit from the surgeries a lot longer than the elderly can, but if so, then are we just going to let the elderly die without even trying to save them? All I’m saying is that we should make everything fair for everyone and not let age be the main factor in this world.

Krys said...

I do and do not think that there should be big surgery’s done on the elderly. If there are going to be limited supplies why not use them on people who are going to be around for another 20 years. But with the technology we have now why are we on limited supplies? There should always be other ways and new things being used; I don’t understand why we are on limited supplies. Also, just because that 32 year old got the open heart surgery that is not going to save him from the massive car accident he could get into the nest week and kill him. So now instead of having the 85 year old going through the open heart surgery and living for another 10 years or so with their family while the 32 year old only lived for a week afterwards. Who is anyone to play god and decide who is going to get a surgery?

BearsAreNaturesLions said...

I have interned as a surgical tech, and while observing a bi-lateral kidney transplant, the age of the recipient did give me pause to think.

The woman was 69 and recieving two kidneys. I wondered how much longer she would live, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?

Did she deserve them? Was there someone younger, who took better care of themselves? Should I even be thinking these thoughts?

That night, I thought of my father, who died when I was 12. I would have given anything for him to live another month, or another year, or another five years. I would have liked to have known him when I was a man, not just a boy.

I have no idea who loves this woman, who her family is, who her children or grandchildren are, and how much they need her, treasure her, and would be so grateful for a few more moments of life with her.

You cannot measure what someone's life is worth in years or dollars imo.

I am for smart desicion making on the part of doctors and their patients, but I am totally against any form of medical discrimination based on the patient's age, social status, health history etc...

*V@N3* said...

I don’t think that age should play a factor because as long as a person is healthy they should have healthcare available. I think that healthcare should be available for everyone and I think that it should be cheaper or maybe even free for everyone. I think that anyone with a sick grandparent would want them to be able to get an operation if they were sick, but I think that they should give younger people cheaper insurance because I would like to have medical insurance available for me without me having to pay a fortune.

ghandi G said...

I do not think that age would be a rising factor in the cost of health care. If we believe that we should stop giving health care to a person who is elderly and give to someone else because they are much younger is very discriminating. This idea is basically describing one life as more important or more valuable than the next. Age does not matter, each person whether young or elderly should share a factor of special meaning to their family and should have the same opportunity for surgery.This is my opinion and why I believe that age should definitely not play a factor in the rise of health care.

lubna said...

I personally disagree with this issue, and I think it is a discrimination against elderly citizens. As a matter of fact, no one knows who will live longer or will benefit longer than others.I agree with some others said that elderly people worked so hard all their life and they should not be suffered when their time come to take a benefits. Definately, they deserve a right to take benefits with their insurance. Unfortunately, our current economic situation and high premium health insurances making people to think that way. However, we would never put our children to suffer in any health conditions, so we should not be thinking differently for our parents or grand parents.A study shows that, Canadians have better access to most types of medical care than United States; a study also shows that, 47 million American do not have a health insurances because of the high premium, so I think the GOvt. needs to do something better in order to medicare running. Some thing really needs to be fixed to help every one regardless of age factor.

BearsAreNaturesLions said...

This just struck me, guess I'll post twice, and get a little preachy.

I was thinking on the video we watched on Monday about honor killings. The only way it is easy or tolerable to commit such horrible acts of violence and retain total hate and loathing towards other human beings is to dehumanize them, to make them less than human.

I believe all people are created in the image of God, and are precious to Him.

If you look back at recent history it is easy to see the dehumanizing factor at work, Nazis destroying jews, Americans treating black people as subhuman, extremist muslims treating converts to judaism or christianity as not worthy to live, the ethnic cleansing that occured in Bosnia a decade ago as well as the ethnic cleansing currently occuring in Rwanda, there are so many others, it's sickening and disheartening...

As soon as we begin to treat the elderly as less deserving of life than others, we are on a very, very dangerous slippery slope.

Life is precious, no matter the age.

Athena Smith said...

Some of you have posted personal stories that are thought provoking. As for donations, who must receive the organ? Well, there are guidelines. At the same time each of the solid organ programs has different guidelines for the referral process.

An interesting story that I remember. A couple of years ago the Greek Archibishop Christodoulos was diagnosed with colon cancer and liver cancer. The doctors decided that he was cured of the colon cancer (based on preliminary tests) after the operation, was flown to Miami and qualified for a liver transplant. He was in his late 60s. The liver was found in a couple of months and when he was opened, the doctors saw that the cancer had spread. So no transplant. Fortunately the liver was immediately transplanted to someone else.
It was a sad and strange story.

jeremyhxc said...

I can look at this situation in both ways. For one we as an society will need to help the elderly at any cost. Our technology is advance now and can let an elderly live longer with surgery and whatnot. Still I believe that the elderly or the family of would make the choice of having this surgery done and trying to make the elderly live longer. Some elderly people might want to end there long eventful life without the means of technology making them live longer.

I think its up to the family or the individual himself to make the choice of surgery or helping them live longer. The health care should be equal for every individual of every age. It just depends on the type of machine or technology that doctors would use that would cost a certain amount. We shouldn't lower the cost or rise the cost for elderly people just because of there age.

Qasem said...

Age should definitely not play a factor on whether doctors should preform a surgery on an older or youger person even though the cost of health care is rising. We should not try to fix the problem by not allowing an elderly person to live longer. That is so sad to me for someone to even have such a thing in mind. That just shows how greedy people can be. We are all one. Age should not matter just like our race should not matter either. I am sure their is a better solution to fix this problem.

DenverBroncos8 said...

Age should not play a factor as to whether or not someone gets health insurance. I do believe however that insurance companies and the government should regulate which surgeries need to be done and which ones are just out of the question when it comes to and elderly person. If the surgery will cost the hospital 50,000 dollars for an open heart surgery and only get reimbursed 15,000 for someone that most likely will not survive the surgery then why do it, the government will lose money and the hospital will lose money that they can use on someone who has a better chance of surviving a life threatening surgery. As far as health care goes in America its a joke. I personally have worked in a health care facility for a few years and have seen what it does to people, its either that the average middle class family can't afford it or if they can afford it then they have limited to no options for using it. They try to go to doctor A, the insurance only pays for doctor B. If the doctor prescribes a certain medication needed for an illness the insurance only pays for another medication. It just seems like health care need many adjustments, unfortunatley I don't have the answers and don't think a universal health care plan will do any good but something needs to be done.

Star said...

Should doctors perform surgery on the elderly just because they can? Or are limited resources better reserved for younger people who will benefit longer?"

This is a very difficult situation when we talk about the live of the people of this world. Life is so complicated. I beleive that age shouldn't play a factor on who should be first on their list to do surgery or any urgent care that needs to be taken care of. We are all human and deserve to live as long as we can or as long as the doctors can help those in urgent medical attention. There are so many people in need of medical attention to survive whether it be for a few more days, months or years. I believe that the medical attentionshould go primarily first to the children and babies first. If they want to use age then it should begin from Their Birthday - the eldest. That would be grat if that were so, but as we all can see that this world everyday feels like we are running out of resources or this world is coming to an end. Between the economic crisis to the health crisis. The question is what is happening and as it gets worse what is the world going to do. Are we going to go against eachother or work together to help one another? This is scary every time I think about the world today and what we face. In a situation with health care what is key and vital to a family is making sure that their is medical insurance, dental insurance, savings plan, retirement plan, and much more. Have a plan for your family so that God forbid something was to approach the family you are ahead of the game..

wolfgram25 said...

No I don not think age should play a factor for life saving surgeries. I personally would like to live a little longer if possible. It would be pretty cool to reach 100 years old. Just think what if that were someone in your family, would you want them to have the surgeries to live longer? Even if there only means of transportation is a wheelchair, let them wheel around at the age of 100. I for one think its cool that people can live that long so I am all for it. Just think that’s what they can do now. Just wait 20 more years and people may be living it 110 or maybe even more. Who knows?

NaniShauna said...

Wow this is difficult to answer. If it was my 83 year old grandmother that needed surgery because she fell and broke her hip, then I would say definitely medicare needs to pay for it. but then at the same time, because the immortality rate increases with age when it comes to surgery, maybe the funds should be disbursed some other way. Like I said, this is a difficult question because it hits home with me and the situation I am in with my nonna. She has leukemia and the chemotherapy is very expensive. Medicare is only paying for part of it and we have to pay $5,000 of it in 12 weeks. If it wasn't for medicare, it would have costed about $20,000+. Her age was never a question when it came to figuring out if we should do chemo or not, it was if it will help her regardless of how long she has been on this earth. So I guess I will have to say that NO I don't think that age should be a factor when it comes to paying for health care for the elderly. Everyone has the right to a prosperous life no matter how old they are. Really if you think about it, you could ask the question "Should healthcare services NOT be paid for kids or young adults who have a terminal disease??" It's really the same thing. I would say NO on that question too.

lyn said...

Age should never be a factor. Doctors are there to help people no matter what age. If I young person is dying doctors are suppose to do all they can to help that person in living longer? What is the difference with older people? To me it seems that they are trying to decide if doctors should help the elderly die. That's what they are doing if they don't give it there all to help the elderly live longer. Just like if they don't give it there all to help younger people.

Brit =] said...

This alomost seems like a ridiculous question to me. Should age be a factor?! ABSOLUTLY NOT! Seriously who are we to determine "Well your too old, sorry you don't have much longer to live anyway so why waste surgery on you, your just going to have to suffer or die which ever." Thats completly unfair. Yes I understand maybe a child will have a longer lifespan so therefore its better off giving younger people the surgery.. but they could die tomorrow in a car accident etc. You don't know how long certain people are going to live.. no one can forsee the future.

Valrico Gee put it best.."If we, as a society, began to consider age for quality of life issues, wouldn't we be putting a monetary value on that life?
If we did that, wouldn't we be in danger of putting the same value on other lives as well. At what cost should we continue to care for people with AIDS or cancer? How many babies with terrible diseases should we let live? Should we let mentally challenged people have health care? "

With everything being said I don't think age should be a determining pactor on wether or not to let someone recieve healthcare.. think of it as if it was your own family that was denied healthcare, or a surgery they desperatly needed.

akm said...

i dont think that age should be a factor for sugerys in the elderly.If they are healthy, and there are no conflicting circumstances for their body to handle going to sleep and the completeing rehab, i say why not let them. People are supposed to be living longer now any whys this would just help them in the long run. but if the elder has health problems and their body cant handle the sugery and what is to come after then i say no. The doctors want my grandfather to have knee replacement sugery, but his body is unstalbe to go under, we dont think he can handle being put to sleep to get it done. All the power to old people having surgery if it means they get a little more time hear on earth.

Athena Smith said...

Denverbroncos8
The prescription medication mess is worse than anyone can imagine. A friend was at CVS the other day and an older man walked in needing some medication for his kid. The price was $1200. The guy did not have the money, and said he only wanted two pills. Still nothing.
These costs are a disgrace.

China said...

I agree that we all should have health insurance, but I feel that the elderly should not be viewed as the main purpose due to their age. I do understand everyone would like to have their loved one with them longer, but age shouldn’t be a factor in the matter. I feel that medical attention is due where necessary, whether they are elderly or young. You have babies that are indeed need of surgery and can’t because their parents can’t afford it. But if you have an elderly person, the surgery can go, because of their age. No that is not fair. Why spend billions of dollars on the elderly that has lived his/her life to the fullest, and can’t show focus on the young. The elderly have lived their lives and the younger version should have a change to live theirs.

weezy-f said...

I do not believe that age should play a factor. And I also believe that everyone should carry it no matter what age. I could just as well die tomorrow as I could when im 90, thats why its called insurance, because you never know what could happen. Anyone who says that our elders should be stripped of they're health care is insane. I too just like most everyone else have old grandparents that I love very much, if one of them were to get sick, I would want to see to it that they get every bit of medical attention that they need. Health care will be over with when my generation is that old and there is no changing that.

1855:ΣΧ:1979 said...

In this day and age, seems like budget cuts are affecting the entire nation. In my personal opinion age should not play a factor in whether or not we give someone health insurance. Who are we to say that a person deserves something more just because that person is old? Just like we don’t have the right to say that someone has the right to live and someone doesn’t, other than being put to trial for murder or something. So no I don’t believe age should play a factor in health care costs. Every person is created equal or as it says in the Declaration of Independence, so how can we say that, “No, you cant have health insurance because your old.”

Master Mo said...

I belive age shouldn't be a factor. In this society everyone needs health insurance. People are dying everday because they don't have health insurance. That what the real problem is. I also agree with MikeATLfalcons health care should spread equally not of the age group. People young and old are dying because of the rise of health care. Its ruining our country and the rest of the world.

akillies said...

Ithink tha everyone deserves health care. No matter what age a person is we all get sick and all need medical attention at sometime. In our nation everything is getting more expensive as time goes by .As a society we need to come together and think of ways to create better health care coverage by cutting costs nin other places. One thing we can do to cut costs is to stop giving coffee at jobs and create in centive for health care to be mre beneficial. Another is to create a better source of transportation since it is nearly impossible to survive in the state of Florida wiyhout a car. With these few things and a few different udeas from the society we live in it can become possible to make every person in America health care insured.

Sandy6 said...

Why should resources be limited to younger people? My mother is in her early 50s and she needs a total knee replacement. Imagine if she had to go without one, I couldn't bear to see her go through so much pain. She is younger than the elderly, but eventually this discussion might come down to her age. Any young person could die tomorrow and how much longer would it have benefited them? If people need the surgery done, then do it. Don’t discriminate elderly people. Some would love to be able to move around, like my grandfather who is perfectly healthy now, but one day he might need a replacement. Why should he have to do without one? He moves around more than the younger generation. I don’t think it is right to withhold surgery from those who need it.

solitaryxsiren said...

If we can think of what is best for the society as a whole, perhaps there should be an age cap. Determining the age cap would be quite a task in itself. Evaluation of our elderly now compared to the past would be in order. It's just such a touchy subject when you think of the individual person who may be leading a wonderful life at a very old age.

The reasoning makes sense, to save our resources for the youth. At the same time, do not we usually discover or seek out more resources when there is a need?

Regarding the rising cost of health care...we already know it should not be as expensive as it already is. Perhaps if we addressed underlying issues such as the excessive cost of health care and the lack of natural medicine, we would not have to consider whether or not to deprive the elderly of certain health care.

LostPhan3 said...

I do not believe that age should never be a factor in a situation like this. Everyone is equal and therefore everyone should have the same chance to receive health care. It should not be aimed at one specific group of people. If that is the point of view we take as a general public that will only create discord and essentially, as Valrico Gee said, put a monetary value on life. Who are we to decide who gets to live and who gets to die? Playing God has never worked out well for anyone, just look at a history book.

CoCo85 said...

I think that it should not be determined by age, but by reason of health severity as who would need surgery. Based on how critical the citizens health situation may be it should be taken care of. I think everyone should be entitled to Medicare, especially if you have worked all your life, than you deserve at least up to what you have contributed to the government to fund your health. Besides, if you have health insurance why should Medicare be a factor in the equation? Doctors get paid enough as is. Why are they performing surgeries on individuals if it is not required? I see that our tax dollars are not being utilized wisely. I understand people need medical supplies such as a wheelchair exampled in the article provided but if she can physically walk why supply her with such an expensive toy if it is not necessary.

graphics4me said...

I believe that health care should not just be for the rich or young, but for everyone. If a doctor has the knowledge on how cure a person then the doctor should. If doctors helped everyone without thinking of how much they will make, how much this will cost the patient, and if the patient can afford it. Then the life expectancy in America would increase because the elderly would be more taken care of allowing them live longer. The saying, "all that evil needs to succeed is for good to do nothing" comes to mind. If a doctor does not use the knowledge learned to help people then they are letting those people die.

TheSoulEater said...

Frankly, I'm disgusted by some of the responses here. Yes, all men are created equal. Created. That doesn't mean they stay that way.

How long could a baby live? Sixty years? Eighty? A hundred? Now, what about some weak old man? What could he stand to gain from some miracle surgery? Five years? That's not even a blip on the radar. It's almost like giving an alcoholic a new liver, but even more futile than that.

You could pay to give someone a hundred years of life. Or you could pay the same amount to give someone else five. Which sounds better to you?

Don't tell me they're equal. Don't give me some bleeding-heart, sentimental, idealistic, fool's crusade. Given a choice, I'd pick the baby every time.

No, it's not fair. Maybe it's not even right. But it's the lesser of two evils. The best practical scenario. The reality of this world.

fireangel said...

What I'm thinking right now is that everyone with pain should be taken care of. But in surgery they must be physically able to deal with the after effects and have physical therapy afterwards so they can be better than they were before. If they get the surgery and don't do anything but sit because it hurts and don't have the strength or encouragement to get up and get stronger, it doesn’t make since. My grandmother right now needs a hip replacement and she is in a lot of pain. But, because she is not in good health she cannot have the surgery. And I'm kind of shocked that doctors are making a fuss about these surgeries. Usually, as long as he/ she gets paid, they don't care. If the condition is life threatening and they have the money for it, power to them. The ultimate decision rests in Jesus's hands. God will call them home when it's there time. Why stop them from going to a better place if their a Christian. To do what's right you will have to imagine that, that patient right there is your family. Now, what are you going to do? For people who have to deal with this kind of situation day in and day out, they tend to acquire a stand back and look at the situation point of view without caring about the feelings of the family, and how much they love that person. The medical field is a hard place to be, but I believe that if the person is able and has the money, they should get the treatment that they need.

DaLi said...

I do not think that age should play a factor in healthcare. We (Americans’) pride ourselves on equality, so to say that we should treat anyone differently because they are older is hypocritical not to mention illegal. I just returned from my Grandmother’s funeral she was 92, active and full of “spunk and jazz” as she would have said. I stayed with my other Grandmother, who is 82 and just had shoulder surgery due to a fractured shoulder. I appreciate that she is still able to care for herself and that we can still spend quality time together. Society should not put our elders out to pasture, nor should we let them suffer in pain when there is a surgery that could help comfort them and keep them independent. Besides, if we continue to put them out to pasture they will need all the medical help they can get to stay as independent as possible! We have a lot we could learn from our elders, if we would just slow down and listen to them.

ijoz said...

According to the Hippocratic Oath, which doctors take before fully becoming a doctor it states that they can not be biased as to who they perform surgery on. No matter what age, gender, religion, or sexual preference the patient is the doctor must assist them. In this case a doctor should be entitled to performing surgery on the elderly. In my opinion a life is a life and until that person is dead they should receive medical attention. The unfortunate fact is that Medicare is rapidly outpacing the ability to pay and this may cause the health care system to crash. What we should do is come together to find a solution to this vastly growing problem within our society. No one should be denied medical attention, so yes doctors should still continue to treat the elderly as well as anyone else that would go to seek help. The problem is not the elderly; it is the American economy.

Jn2 said...

I beleive age should'nt be a factor.All life's are valuable before GOD and before man.So i beleive everybody should have a healthcare insurance irrespective of age.Elderly people and the young people both get sick,injured and hurt.Thus having a system put in place that doesn't discriminate on who to have healthcare insurance is needed.Healthcare affects everyone,regardless of social class or age.There are many young people with childhood onset deseases including rheumatic desease that needs continuos medical care as well as there are many old people undergoing heart surgery,organ transplantation,kidney dialysis as well as advanced cancer treatment that needs continuos medical care.Thus i beleive healthcare should be evenly spread to both the old and the young despite the rising cost.

BadgeBunny said...

I don't think age should play a factor. Yes, the elderly have been here for a long time and it's assumed that they won't be here much longer. If they do die shortly after surgery then the money spent would be a waste, but who knows if they're going to die soon or not. Nobody knows when, where or how they're going to die. I understand doctors spend many years in practice in order to form these opinions but they don't make the final call. As my uncle would say, "They bury them long and short nowadays," meaning young people are dying just as fast as the older people. I think the elderly have paid their dues and they have enough obstacles in their way, don't make their age another one. You can't put a price tag on someone's quality of life.

Katusha said...

WOW! I never knew so many people were living to be past one hundred years old. I feel like the more people we operate the more advanced healthcare will become. If healthcare becomes more advanced then we can develop knowledge of preventative care. With so many people going vegan and organic in my generation I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us live past 120. Throughout our lives a portion of our income is taken out for social security and medicare. It’s not fair to take the ability for a hip replacement away from someone who’s been paying for that opportunity their entire life and now that they are too old. We should celebrate the fact that Selma Vette is alive and walking. Maybe we should extend the age of retirement to 75?

displayname said...

I think give the people what they want. If you can pay the medical bills go for it, but elderly people should not be aloud to charge operations they can’t pay for. I think it also might be good to even charge them more, if the Medicare system is failing then make those that are old and can afford it pay for those that are poor and can’t. We live in a society driven by money and we tax everything anyway we can, then why not this. I also think its disturbing that Medicare is going to collapse, we bail out things that we don’t really need like banks and cars but when old people need medicine suddenly we are out of money. I also believe we need to start letting people just go ahead and die, humans were not meant to be part bionic. Why does that lady need her knees, why what for? There is probably some kid who just blew his knee out in some small town and can’t afford it, he should be aloud to use the parts on other peoples dime before her. I say let them have it but let them pay for it. When will people start being selfless why not in her old age pay for someone else’s joint replacement? It seems like she’s just bored and can have surgery so she did, and that’s not cool. I say tax them tax them tax them.

abrown said...

I agree with Con_to_the_Way. Like Mr. Callahan said, that the objective of medicine today is to get young people to become old, and not to keep old people around forever. There are so many children that dont receive medical treatment at affordable costs because all the elderly people cant accept the fact that their time has come. Im not saying to completely cut the help of the old, but dont hog the system and inflate costs of healthcare for the new. If you focus on the old people, the young people will grow old with medical issues and the cycle continues, and then the elderly continue to need treatment as issues amplify.


help the elderly, but dont spoil them with help. I understand both sides of the argument, but i decide to state the most controversial response.
Were going through somewhat of a crisis with money in America today, so lets help the future American citizens before we help the ancient ones.

CUT MY HEALTHCARE AMERICA? Then im gettin it free in Canada :)

jranubis said...

This is a tough issue to tackle at our young age. I'm sure that how us in our 20s and 30s feel about it now is going to change as we near the cut off point. However, I do feel that if people feel that 40 is the new 30 due to medical and cosmetic advances, that by the time we reach that age, 90 might well be the new 55 and on the average, we might be able to live more that 20 years longer.
The tough part here is the Medicaid. In a time when 8-year-olds are dying because their parents can't afford surgeries that people well into their retirement ages can, it hardly seems fair. I mean, as far as saving the person that would be able to contribute in taxes and the like over the course of their life, obviously, from a strictly financial standpoint, it should go to the person who is younger and has 30+ years worth of taxes to pay versus somebody who is completely done with paying for such things and is just enjoying the ride for the rest of their life.
Also, with the baby boomers retiring with increasing numbers, it makes one wonder for the babies born today. Will they ever have the chance to get such a life saving and life lengthening operation? Will it be necessary or will medical advances have 90 year olds walking around just as alert as somebody slightly over the hill? Personally, at 27 years of age, I feel that the operations and excessive amount of money should be saved for somebody who can make the most contributions to the common good. And that would be the younger person over the older person.

Styefn89 said...

I do not think that age should play a factor in determining whether a person is eligible to be given medical attention or not, just as I do not believe a person’s race, religion, or gender should matter. I do not agree with any form of medical discrimination – it would be an act of “ageism” (comparable to racism) as the article spoke about.

I have family members who have lived far into old age. For instance, I have a great uncle who is 96 years old (he and my aunt have been married for over 70 years!)…and the notion that he “should have been” refused medical treatment/surgery at 75 years of age seems ridiculous to me.

Sabrina said...

This is utterly disgraceful,age should never be a factor in considering healthcare issues. The elderly should received the same standard of care as young people.Most of us have someone elderly in our family, and because of the state of the economy today and the rising cost of healthcare, it doesn't matter whether you are old or young everyone will be affected.However,there has to be a balance, giving a 80 year old a heart transplant makes no sense.

Yellow_Yackets said...

Even with the rising cost of health care, it is very hard to decide whether older people should play a factor or not. To give money to older people who are in need of it for surgeries or other treatments or whether to give that money to younger people who also needs the money is hard decision to make. I personally would like my parents to receive full care, as I would like the younger people to receive full care the same way. I believe in equality and fairness. So, in the situation we are living, I think that age should not play a factor.

Yellow_Yackets said...

I agree with Sabrina’s comment about whether age should play a factor in the economic situation ewe we are living today. As Sabrina said, “This is utterly disgraceful; age should never be a factor in considering health care issue.” I agree that People should be treated equally no matter age, gender, or any other factor. Just like Sabrina said, we should think of the elder people as if they were in our family. I don’t think anyone would like their parents not to be well treated. Younger and Older should receive fairly the same amount of money and be treated fairly equal.

bomana said...

At first I really didn't know how to answer this. Then I read the whole article and thought about it for a while. I don't see how there should have to be a choice as to whether or not to provide a medical necessity on anyone. Age should have nothing to do with it. With all the things people have to worry about as they age, why would they ever have to worry that they would ever get too old to get a surgery that they need and would make the quality of their life better.
Doctors are going to perform the surgeries necessary on the elderly because they are going to get paid. Many people do not have medical insurance and cannot afford it. Few doctors will push to do a surgery they know they will not be paid for. I guess the younger generation who do not have medical insurance will have to hope to get old enough to get the medical attention needed and provided to the elderly. It is not the fault of the elderly that they can get help it is once again the fault of the government who will not get in line with the other countries to provide healthcare for all of the citizens. There would be no question as to who is better served by a surgery because everyone would be served. While younger people would benefit for a longer period of time by certain surgeries, the elderly have earned it.

Quagmire813 said...

Why is that we are trying to put one class of people above another? Health insurance companies have been posting gains over the last few years while we as a people are struggling to keep food on our tables. We need to take care of sickly within financial reason whether they are black, white, young or old. This shouldnt even be an issue.

hnarine67 said...

I believe that age should not be a factor, and that because some people are elderly or younger that they should be judged on whether or not they qualify for the health care. If the government can equally distribute healthcare amongst all its U.S. citizens, i believe that the U.S. would be alot better. I also believe that older people should some what be limited to what surgeries they should be able to get, and their healthcare because they only living to a certain amount of years afterwards, why should the younger people have to suffer because the elderly people are getting more help? I just think that if the U.S. can equally distribute healthcare to all its' citizens that we would not have any prolems.

solitaryxsiren said...

Actually, this should be on a case-by-case basis as well in my opinion.

This is again harsh, because you are putting a value on a life. You are evaluating that person's life and judging whether or not to let them live or simply live longer. I believe a psychological evaluation would prove helpful in the decision though.

IndianGoddess6922 said...

I was and still am in utter abhor that Daniel Callahan said that, “It’s the duty of Medicine to get young people to become old, not to keep old people alive forever.” The duty of Medicine is to help individuals maintain a healthy life by treating illnesses, curing diseases, easing pain, fixing a broken body, reconstructing the disfigured, increasing the functions of the body and prolonging life. As the admirable Shakespeare once said, “By Medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too.” How can Mr. Callahan be referred to as a medical ethicist when he cannot even adequately describe the true purpose of Medicine?

Age should never play a role in determining if an individual should or should not receive medical attention. If a person is physically able to undergo a medical procedure, then why should they be prohibited from receiving the medical attention that they need? Restricting an individual of medical attention can be compared to that of withholding food from elderly people. Should elderly people be restricted from food, because the resources of food are limited and food should be saved for younger people that will supposedly live longer?

Setting an age limit is not only unethical, but also impossible. What factors would be used to determine the age? Those factors need to be based on universally accepted facts that are also medically supported. Would the age be set at 74, 82, 97, or 100? My Grandfather was recently rushed to the emergency room of the Mary Immaculate Hospital with a very severe case of bronchitis, and even though his vital signs were stabilized, he remained on a breathing machine for two-three days. He was sixty percent better when he had a heart attack. His liver had to be stabilized before was transferred to the Long Island Jewish Hospital where he is now waiting a stenting. My Grandfather is eighty years old, and if there had been an age limit to this procedure, I would have personally fought the medical system with every chemical component of my body until my Grandfather received the treatment that he desperately needs.

The statistics overwhelmingly indicate that individuals are living longer and these individual are also working beyond the age of retirement. These elderly people have spent the majority of their lives working and contributing to the economy. They should receive the medical attention that they need regardless of the financial status of health care, or the federal Medical program. If the federal Medical program will cease to operate in the alleged ten years, then every individual, regardless of age will be affected from this. It is not a matter of deciding if we should consider age in regards to medical aid, but we should realize that we are only human beings, what privilege to we have to place a limit to a an individual’s life.

martir_j said...

I do not believe that age should be a factor at all.. Im a man that strongly believes that everyone is equal wether someone is 80 or 20 years old. I think doctors are getting payed TONS of money and think they should work more for there money. Whether is giving the ones that most need a surgery for free of charge or doing a transplant for someones life. This economy has been going down the drain and i believe its the NEWER GENERATION that is making it this one. The older generation was much more sweater to one another and were willing to help in whatever they could. now a days ppl dont even talk to there next door nieghboors let alone help someone up when they need it.. This whole economy need to become more in CHRIST and learn to DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD WANT DONE TO YOURSELF.

IndianGoddess6922 said...

In regards to what Martir_j posted, Doctors earn every single cent that they are being paid. They should Not work harder for the money that they are being paid. A Medical Doctor is paid in relation to the type field they have chosen to specialize in, and the amount of work being performed. Doctors are being paid "TONS" becuase of the mental, physical, and emotional Hell that they have to go through to get the position that they have now earned.

DLG2009 said...

Taking away someone’s right to have surgery because of age is inhumane. It is also age discrimination. The worlds population consist a lot of people over the age of 80. When did a person become able to make the decision that they have the right to take another persons life. By not performing surgeries on the elderly that is exactly what you are doing taking away someone’s life and rights. Medicine is used to prolong life not shorten it. Many people over the age of 60 and above are just as active as people between the ages of 40-50. Just because someone is elderly means they do not deserve the right to live or live without pain? And here we are again putting someone’s life on the line because of money. If the government would stop wasting money and use it wisely such as health care then there would be no thought of taking someone’s life because of age.

steven.majdecki said...

I believe age should not be a factor. A life is a life, it doesn't matter how old you are. Elderly people have put there time on this earth, so they should be able to receive the same health care that younger people receive even if there is limited resources. There are hundreds of different type of medications and surgeries out there that are being discovered every single day so I don't think we are really going to have a problem with resources. Instead of the goverment giving away money all the time to other countries they should put it into some kind of stimulus package to lower the cost of health care and put more money into researching new cures for diseases and other illnesses. If we didn't take care of our young and elderly we would be considered animals and not human beings in my eyes.

Athena Smith said...

TheSoulEater

You are one of the few that has taken the other side. Interesting points. Actually the logic of your argument has been adopted in organ recipients guidelines.

As for the alcoholic-liver analogy, many alcoholics who undergo a liver transplant stay dry after that. If not, they never qualify for a second transplant.

Athena Smith said...

Dali
I am sorry about your loss :((

Athena Smith said...

abrown
It's not free anywhere. A universal health care system is directly financed by your taxes. The difference is that the taxation is analogous to your income.

Athena Smith said...

I think we should post an article on the notion of univeral health care. If someone wants to do it, let me know.

rushfan said...

I think they should focus on younger people who would benefit longer. There needs to be a limit with the way things are these days not everyone can afford or get the kind of medical treatment they need and if i was in the position i would choose the younger over the older person. Because the younger has alot more to live for. Modern medicine has done made it so that People are living longer then they should. There needs to be a cutoff point.

Alex370000 said...

When age plays effect of society everything changes. Iam sorry to say i dont believe the elderly should get a free surgery because of there age. Whats next after that. They had there whole life to work take care of themselves finacial. If anything you should be offering a break for students or the younger population. Nobody likes to see people pass away. But society would change. All of a sudden your going to have people say the edlery get a free ride in society. They are the same citizen deserve the same rights and have the same benefits as everyone esle.

M314J said...

I don't believe age should be a factor. Even if the patient dies a year after their million dollar surgery. It could give them the opportunity to live life another year, or to be with their families one last year. I believe it is sad to deny a person any type of medical treatment, medication, or health insurance. In the end, all we have is our health. Everyone should have the right to have the help they need, no matter the age.

frogger said...

I do think age is a factor that you have to look at. you are more likely to have more problems as you get older. which will cost more money. however i think if you get health care at an early age it shouldn't keep going up as you age.

omaya said...

I think that the idea of even denying healthcare to the elderly is just wrong. I don't think anyone should be shut out because of age. How many times have we seen or heard of teens and even babies died because of the surgery failures? Its clear that life is not guarantee to anyone. Therefore, putting a timeline on a person life is just ridiculous.

Millz617 said...

in my opinion... i dont think age should have any bearings on weither or not someone should qualify for an expensive surgery or even to recieve surgery at all. old or young, if a life can be saved, it should be. i was interested in the point that "Valrico Gee" made. surgeons probably care less of the issue being that they get paid regardless of (patients)age. the issue is making medicare availible for everyone age and class.

Court said...

It cannot be denied that health care is sky rocketing, which does pose the question of where we should spend the little money we do have. I definitely have to side with the argument, however, that medicine is to help young people grow old, not old people grow older. In an ideal world, obviously there would be enough money to go around so everyone could get the medical attention they need. However, with limited resources the money must be spent where the greater need is, and a heart transplant for a young child is definitely more important than a knee replacement for a woman that lived one hundred healthy years.

John Deere Green said...

I think that health care is rising and yes the elderly is a huge contribution but the point for health care is to take care of the people who have and pay for it regardless of their age. The older we get the more chance we have of becoming ill and our bones, muscles, and organs failing. I think that more often than not we want people to help us when we become elderly. The price of health care is never going to be affordable especially if the economy continues to get worse. I think that there could be a better solution than to just cut some one off because of their age. So age should not play a factor.

Ms.Krissy said...

Age should not be a factor for providing the necessary health care for elderly people. If we were to take matters into our own hands and decide whether or not a person should live past a certain age, it would be considered "playing God" and no one has the right to do that. Some elderly people are very healthy up until the age of like 105 years old so who are we to say once they reach 95 they are no longer to be treated? Everyone deserves the right to live and what ever age their body gives up or God calls them home, that is the time they are supposed to go. Regardless of age, people are going to get sick from a baby to the age of 78. Once there is an age limit on healthcare, our government would be considered to be a sort of dictatorship and that we are not! Throughout our history there has been many examples of what we do not want our government to be. Why go back in time when we are leaving in the future. Leave the decision making to God and treat everyone like the human being that they are no matter the age. I actually believe healthcare should be free anyways and since it is not who gives anyone the right to decide when its time for me to basically die just because i reached a certain age?

mpierre said...

I do not believe age should be a factor because everyone no matter what age have or will have a health problem. No one should have to choose who should get more money for surgery. Babies, young adults, and the elderly need surgery equally. you never know how much of an impact a badly need surgery can do for a person. Also technology is advancing as the years pass by. More and more people are living longer from the babies to the elderly. The point is everyone needs health care it should have to be so complicated. If someone needs surgery then it should not be who is more important or what age they are. there are some surgery that not important. Like breast implant surgery, but if it a surgery that is suppose to help save someone life then there should not be a problem with money.

Lester said...

I have to agree with almost everyone else by saying that health care should not be limited by age. I think about my great grandmother who recently passed away at the age of 90 and I know that if there was a procedure that would have made her more comfortable or prolonged her life, we would have agreed to it unthinkably. In my opinion, it seems unethical to deny ANYBODY healthcare. Now, we may chose not to perform a surgery on someone due to their age, but soon we may be faced with denying them diagnostics, medications , etc. because they are deemed “too old”.

Lester said...

I have to agree with almost everyone else by saying that health care should not be limited by age. I think about my great grandmother who recently passed away at the age of 90 and I know that if there was a procedure that would have made her more comfortable or prolonged her life, we would have agreed to it unthinkably. In my opinion, it seems unethical to deny ANYBODY healthcare. Now, we may chose not to perform a surgery on someone due to their age, but soon we may be faced with denying them diagnostics, medications , etc. because they are deemed “too old”.

tara said...

The price of health care is rising greatly, yes but that doesn't mean the elderly should suffer on account of it. When someone needs surgery it should be done no questions asked. Age shouldnt be the issue. who's to say who lives longer and who doesn't. Health care will continue to rise no matter who uses it or not, more importantly there shoulnt be a price for health care because it doesnt matter the age or wealth, the importance it helping the ones in need.

Amanda said...

The posed question is about Medicare and its benefits. I believe that the elderly should not take advantage of such surgeries that will soon be wasted after they have past. If it is true that Medicare will fail within decades, why waste it on the elderly? Now if the elderly can pay out of pocket to have the surgery they should be able to freely be given the surgery. The young aren’t exactly guaranteed to live, but at least they would be given the chance to survive more with the benefits of a surgery more than an elderly person would.

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TOOTIE said...

Raising the cost of health care!? I thought it was already high, and to now consider the cost based on an age factor is crazy. There are so many cases where a 15 year is sicker then a 50 year old, so what experts think they can assume a certain health care cost for individual’s .How much more can you raise health care? Instead of promoting such an ideal as that try promoting preventative health care instead which could if done, lower the number patients admitted in the hospital and in the long run lower the need of health care.