By Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter

Source: Wired Magazine

OVER THE NEXT 45 years, the population of people older than 65 will double, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. As the population ages, our healthcare system will face millions of frail patients whose bodies are beginning to shut down. The considerable advances in medical technologies over the past century will help some elderly people live longer lives. For others, however, these technologies serve to prolong the dying process.

As an ICU physician, I’ve used technologies like breathing machines and feeding tubes to save lives that would have been lost just a few decades earlier. But I’ve also seen the substantial costs, both human and financial, of some medical advances. Many patients die protracted deaths while being kept alive by machines—which, research shows, they would not have chosen had there been adequate communication about their options beforehand. (…) Read Full Article Here

 

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