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2013-11-03 03:59 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 265 references Ignore this thread
On Personal Choices

When you boil all the arguments down about health care this and that, when you talk to the people on the front line of medicine -- especially nurses and other practitioners who have no reason to BS you and are not in a clinical setting with you, a few things become clear.

First among them is the fact that an utterly enormous amount of our so-called "medical spending" is actually a scam.  From the "patients" who are really looking for nothing more than a high and shopping from one doctor to another for a prescription to those who have Medicare or Medicaid "home health" help but treat those people like maids, expecting them to do things like wash dishes and vacuum floors the utterly outrageous entitlement attitude and expectation among a huge percentage of those receiving services has to be seen to be believed.

As a body politic we have enabled and encouraged this because we simply refuse to say "No", irrespective of who it is.  Many of those in the field are active conspirators (after all, they get paid to say "Yes") and others are simply unwilling to challenge what is a clearly-discernable lie with the slightest bit of effort.

This extends to "disability"; there are estimates that as much as half of the people receiving it are not actually permanently and completely disabled, as the law requires.  Stories abound of so-called "disabled" people who are unable to perform any sort of work but play golf and even run a marathon.

That program, by the way, is going to go bankrupt in 2015.  That's less than two years from now.

But there is much more to this -- a personal side.

You see, we are all mortal.  We are all born and we all, surely, will die.  Some of us will die today, some tomorrow, some next week and some in the next decade but we all will indeed pass; it is inevitable.

What's not inevitable is how we pass.  Do we choose to go with dignity, both personally accepting our mortality and insisting that those who love us also do the same, or do we gasp for just one more breath, just one more heartbeat, irrespective of cost intertwined with every piece of technological assistance we can muster (and demand)?

This is the question I would like to put before you today.  I challenge you to contemplate not just what you personally wish (because you can't always get what you want) but how you ultimately will be remembered, because those who you leave behind are the ones who continue onward in their lives and what you do in this regard impacts them and will continue to long after you're gone.

I'm sure that there are some people who simply don't give a damn -- there is nobody that is important to them, there never was and there sure isn't in their hour of death.  But those people are few in number.  Most of us, no matter how strained our relationships may have been, no matter how physically distant people may be, no matter what the past may have brought, have people who care about them -- and who they care about.

The last months, weeks, days and hours are times when each of us can make a difference not only for today but for tomorrow.

Someone said a long time ago to me that it is at least as important how we face and live in the act of our death as how we lived our lives, and that these choices while appearing to be fleeting not only are not but they can have a profound impact on hearts, minds and even souls.  

I assure you today that this is not, in fact, rhetorical nonsense.