Life Support

The article “Do the Poor Deserve Life Support? ” by Steven E. Landsbury raises the issue of whether or not we should keep people on life support when they cannot afford it. Although it is a horrible situation I feel that Baylor Regional Medical Center did the correct thing by removing Tirhas Habtegiris from her ventilator. If hospitals provided her and others with this service for free it would mean budget cuts. These cuts would affect the care which is provided for the rest of the general public.
Also, it would mean that someone else’s insurance or taxes would have to cover the cost of keeping her alive. I did some research and saw that to keep someone alive on a ventilator would cost between 2000-3000 per day. Financially, it would be a bad idea to try to save every single person, rich or poor. Seeing as how the poor obviously can’t pay for themselves, it would cause a strain on society to pay and use their own money that they would need themselves for vaccines, surgery, medicine ect.
The general public would suffer because they wouldn’t receive the quality service which they have been paying for. Economically speaking, no “free” life support should be given to anyone that cannot contribute back to the industry that is paying for the procedure. Considering that the life support we are dealing with here is mostly ones that will prolong the death of an individual, there is little to no benefit to keeping an individual alive. In that regard, they should be denied their life support request and left to die from their condition. Simple law of economics.

If the cost is greater than the benefit, do not do it. At the same time it would be ideal to provide everyone with life support. This shows in my opinion that our Medicare system needs to change. How we will go about it I do not know. The end of Ms. Habtegiris’ life was tragic. Most of us won’t have to make such a choice as whether to pull the plug or not, that is the good news. It was wrong for Baylor to pull the plug but it is clear that in the real world of limited medical resources that hospitals will be making similar decisions in the future.

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