Originally Posted by jdh71
I wonder how much of the US number is skewed by end of life care that is expensive, usually unnecessary, and futile. A lot of the heroics we attempt in the ICU they simply don't do in other countries, and I think much of it is cultural more than horrible mean systems that won't pay for it.
That and third/fourth/hell, fifth line chemotherapies too.
When you consider that an overwhelming majority of people on Medicare use the most resources in their last few months of life, I have to imagine that it's heavily skewed. I wonder what the costs would be if you simply cut neonatal and end-of-life ICU stays (this obviously isn't possible in reality, but pretend we could). I'm guessing they'd fall substantially.
...for even the mind depends so greatly on the temperament and on the disposition of the organs of the body that, if it is possible to find some means to render men generally more wise and more adroit than they have been up until now, I believe that one should look for it in medicine.
Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method