You know you’re going to get a pretty interesting debate about healthcare costs when George Lundberg offers his advice on how to control health care costs right now. A well thought-out piece and one deserving of everyone’s time to read it. Costs can be reigned in, if only we had the willpower to do it.
It is also a piece that reveals the excruciating set of choices we may have to make to bring costs under control. I read it dispassionately until I came to the part about false chemotherapeutic hope for widespread metastatic disease. I don’t know how the latter is defined, but I almost certain fit the definition. I’ve lived on “false chemotherapeutic hope” for almost 8 years, time enough to raise my children and become an e-patient activist. Clearly, the median is not the message, and for all those who are getting an extra few months of marginal quality of life, there are also those of us who are fighting a good fight, and living a good life. Perhaps this is also an equation the wisdom of patients will help us solve — patients who understand the tradeoffs and are empowered to value quality of life may surprise the powers that be with their clear-eyed assessment of their options. We should certainly not let the fear-mongering of certain ex-governors of Alaska deter us from encouraging those conversations.
Clearly, the median is not the message, and for all those who are getting an extra few months of marginal quality of lif