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how do you pick who dies?

Ethics question:

In the case of a medical shortage of goods and or services, how would you choose candidates to receive treatment? Who gets help first and last?

For arguments sake, please exclude organs from your thoughts.


Asked by lovinangels at 12:15 AM on Aug. 14, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (112,638 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • This was a HUGE debate in my sociology class in college. Not one person agreed, so I don't expect anyone to agree on who to determine who goes first.

    On a lighter note, I think the elderly are taken advantage of by their doctors. I have watched 5 elderly people go to the dr for a check up when they were healthy and suddenly they have heart and hbp problems, are put on medication, sent to a specialist, more meds are added and suddenly more problems arise and they are deceased within 3 years. My parents refrain from going to the dr in fear of going down hill just as their parents did.

    Answer by momtotrips at 8:46 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • There is a Chinese short story/tale that the kids read in the 6th grade in NC. It is about older people going into the mountains on their journey. As you get into the story, you realize the old people are going to the mountains to die because they have reached the end of usefulness to their village. They now must depend on others instead of contributing. This change lets them know when it is time to leave and go off to die. This woman leaves and her husband goes too because he can't live without her. It is sad and sweet at the same time. This is the old custom. Will be begin this practice? Once you have to depend on others you must go? My FIL is doomed. We have to drive him, fix his meals, and prepare his meds. We still view him as contributing to the family. He is our glue. He brings us together. He makes us laugh. He is of no value to the village, and I don't care. He is valuable to us, but he would be doomed.


    Answer by jesse123456 at 12:43 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Bleh...this is too much like the question asked of husbands everywhere, "If your wife and mother are both drowning and you can only save one, who do you save." Too depressing. I prefer to take the position of preparing myself so that I'm not the helpless wife and can help him save his mom (in other words, I prefer to think of better options instead of agreeing to pessimistic premises).

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:52 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • My fil and mil are both 90 years old and both have suffered devastating strokes.

    My fil had his stroke in January 2001. He spent 6 mos in a stroke rehab facility after his stroke. He has not spoken a work (aphasia) since his stroke. He can not walk or use the rt side of his body.
    He has lived in 3 adult facilities and has had 24/hr/day live- in help for 5 years. he has not eaten solid foods in a year. He only can take liquids off of a spoon (he aspirates) He has been in Hospice services since June 10th. He is a DNR and comfort care only pt. He currently has 1:1 in home care.

    My mil has had dementia for 5 years. She suffered a stroke last year. She is paralyzed on her left side, and still is able to speak. She has no memory of time past 1930. She has 1:1 nursing care as well.

    Both \have had their rights terminated. Their adult children have a conservatorship over their care, their assests, their properties etc.

    Answer by Sisteract at 12:58 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Cont-

    Anyone who thinks this is the way for a long-lived happy life to end needs to come and live THIS life. My in laws are fortunate in that they can afford the 12,000/month payment, or maybe not; without the funds they would not be existing the way they are now-

    I use to pray everyday for them to be relieved.

    Answer by Sisteract at 1:02 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • To only answer the question. I guess those most viable meaning the ones expected to live for another 25 years. I would say pregnant women, children, and one spouse if they have children (they can flip a coin if they like) would be cared for when sick... Just trying to in my head think of this is making me nauseous! Now that I have typed it and read it doesn't this sound terrible! I would never want to play God!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:21 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • over 2 and under 50 your safe from the guy wispering in BO ear .Emmanuel has stated people with dementia need not live so most people 60 and above may want to start taking focus factor! not funney also maybe autistic children could be muted out? maybe if all goes well.... Do not shut -up about this!PRESSURE IS ON!

    Answer by 2mothershelpers at 3:56 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Makes me wonder, what will happen to Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes and Hospices? If you can afford to pay out-of-pocket for these things, I guess the government couldn't deny you the care you are paying for, but MOST of these facilities depend on Medicare or private insurers to subsidize/absorb some of the costs. Under ObamaCare, since private insurance companies will largely go out of business, and Medicare funding will be slashed, your most likely choices will be having frail elderly members live with you and you will have to take care of them--which could be difficult if you also need to work and/or take care of your dependents?!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:29 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • I would hate to think how to answer my own question, here. In removing competition you remove supply, it's basic economics. In order to protect lives, I'd encourage ounce of prevention.. .

    Answer by lovinangels at 7:35 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • I think Obie is going to play ennie meenie minnie moe. Pray that he doesn't stop at you or a loved one.

    Answer by Ibelongtojesus at 7:40 AM on Aug. 14, 2009