Friday, May 06, 2011

A RAGE AGAINST GREEDY, WHIMPERING OLD AGE

I ASK YOU AMERICA: ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WE BECOME?? SHOULD WE BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?? Down there is a small town---and I've got a project in mind: Go engage some old people and see how I feel about the experience. This morning I found myself momentarily trapped in a grocery store behind a doddering old geezer. I got annoyed at his wheezing obstructiveness wishing he would get the hell out of my way---and out of everybody's way. As I passed him, I noticed that he was likely younger than me. I tried to talk to him and discovered he coundn't speak any better than he could walk. My irritation increased--- And the above questions flashed in my mind. ---Hence my resolve to do some first hand research.


My first stop is the senior center---having lunch with them ($3) and engaging several of them before and after the meal.


Not a bad lunch as you can see.


I took this surreptitious photo because I think it shows a general dispiritedness.


Try as I may, I could not find a sense of humor or a love of life. These souls are not polished---these personalities do not sparkle---I detected no reservoirs of wisdom.
Then I went to a nursing home----walked around---looked---talked--and came out quietly enraged.


RANDY RANTS-----HOW DARE ALL THESE PEOPLE ARRIVE AT OLD AGE WITH SO LITTLE TO SHOW FOR A LIFETIME OF LIVING. HOW DARE THEY COME GIMPING INTO OLD AGE, HARD OF HEARING, SLOW OF MIND, CRANKY, UNGRACIOUS, NEEDY---AND PLOP THEIR WRETCHED ASSES ON SOCIETY'S DOORSTEP TO BE LOOKED AFTER IN GRAND STYLE. I fantasized entering the nursing home with a whip---Jesus like--and drive most of them into the street. I am outraged at what it cost to keep these geezers in a nursing home---and even more outraged at what it cost to give them end-of-life medical treatment. They are evil for allowing this kind of money to be spent on them and we are morally blind for doing it. Collectively, they are bankrupting america. I think we all should live frugally and die frugally.
PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY BECOME. We all have a shot at becoming a well rounded personality--77 years on average--- to learn life's lessons---become---smart--alert--funny--wise---into our nineties and beyond. Buckminster Fuller, Frank Lloyd Wright for example and you probably know old people who have not lost their mind or their health or their dignity.
ADDENDUM: RANDY'S SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH DISABLED ELDERLY:

1. CREATE A FOSTER CARE SYSTEM FOR THEM. (google foster care for the elderly---Saves 2/3 the cost ---gives employment for many now unemployed and the added value of living within the embrace of a family-------see NY Times article 3/8/94)

2. Legally give people the right to die if they wish by assisted suicide. (Oregon law plus) (currently if the health care system gets you in its grip--it won't let go)

3. Change people's attitude toward death---seen as natural-or-a new adventure or Heaven, reincarnation or just moving on. (google near death experiences---note their insights.

4. Create Death Panels---yes!---for the tough cases like Terry Shivo--a body of experts who can assist families see situations rationally.






























33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, send them out to the street. That will teach them to live past their usefulness.
Castello

Anonymous said...

Well, I really wrestled with whether or not to respond to this. Maybe you were just trying to get a rise out of your readers, I don’t know. I wondered what you would have had these old folks do in order to have prevented their predicaments – buy trailers and roam around the west? Would that have put them on a better course?

I actually like your take on life, most of the time, but there was always something lurking beneath the surface and this post kind of clarified it for me. It appears that you aren’t attached to anything, so you can feel free to sit in judgment . I haven’t detected any mention of family or other obligations, the kinds that from time to time make it impossible to go around following only one’s own pursuits. I don’t bring this up as a put down, but rather to note that it puts in perspective your particular point of view. You sit zen-like (and not a little smug) in your non-attachment to material things. You are bemused by the plights of others with their many self-induced, to your mind, obligations that prevent them from seeking “brainglow.” You feel qualified to judge these elders for whom you have no knowledge of how they got to where they are. Or if indeed they are uncomfortable there.

I don’t know what your “solution” would be for people like the ones you visited. You may want to hope that some switch in your own brain doesn’t flip or otherwise wear out rendering you unable to “wander and wonder.”

Joe

john patrick said...

Hey Randy. Thanks for the report.

I don't think old age lacks humor and wit. But rather, reality sinks in that most of ones friends are on the other side.

And, that many family members don't live nearby.

And, that modern medicine preserves life, but not lifestyle/value.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your thoughts joe-yes, not everyone can stay physically and mentally able as long as some.maybe they worked in a chemical factory that took advantage of lax laws-maybe they had injuries-maybe they had to stick by family and passed up opportunities-maybe they live near nuclear test sites and weren't told-maybe their child stole all their $...

dave

Elaine said...

I have always felt you were a pompas ass. Bantam rooster often came to mind when I read your blogs. What a superior attitude you have.
I find this latest rant unbelievable even from you. Surely you jest.

Joe, I agree with you.

Elaine

Matt Simpson-Weber said...

OUCH!! I was taken back a bit by this post. I LOVE you blog and LOVE your take on life. This however, really hit me hard! I think that society in general needs to learn to respect, care and admire the older generation. It becomes more about "being" then doing. Society only rewards those who DO. AS our bodies age and slow down, we need to respect and love the generations before us, so that, in turn, we will get shown the same love and respect as we get older.

Sondra said...

Randy,
I have not been leaving comments because Im at that sticky part of my own life that demands I use my Bile and Gile for to fight my own battles...I have totally been there-- in that Ive been in Many nursing homes, family homes and hosptials that try to care for the elderly!

I worked as an EMT/Paramedic in New York City for 6 yrs. A large part of that job 80% I would guess is taking people from Nursing homes to hosptials and from hosptials to nursing homes...SO I figure I can give an educated comment based on what I know is the biggest money making racket in this country!


Zillions of $$$ are spent giving very poor quality of life and care to the elderly who are unfortunate enough to eat right, visit the Dr regularily, take their meds, get that colonoscopy & Mamogram, and become a dutiful patient & who's body will be kept alive just enough to be in need of nursing care.


The unfortunate people get on the Medical Ferris Wheel created in this country by Corporations Almost all doctors offices are now part of a GROUP-thats a fancy name for a corporation... (most nursing homes are owned by corporatoins and dividends are paid to Investors...Many of you may have IRA's that are invested in these Corporations in this nation, and it is BIG INDUSTRY---as Big as Big OIL!!)

BUT I lay the blame for this horrid industry (it is an industry) on the BABY BOOMERs GENERATION! The ones who have no time to take care of their own...they turn their backs on their elderly in their family, they send them off to the nursing home, visit once a month and Medicare and Medicaid gets stuck with these HUGE monthly bills.

I have seen SO MUCH suffering of the ELDERLY in these horrible places...and have memories I want to forget--
The solution:
DONT become a hamster on that wheel. Take control of your own Medical Decisions, and IF you become so senile you cant make your own decisions...God Help and Keep you, if you are a believer, and BEFORE all that happens to US we should refuse medication, refuse Medical attention, SIGN A DNR, MAKE A LIVING WILL--NO feeding tubes, no CPR, no natibiotics, no surgeries,no, no, no, & no!! Get a Health Care Proxy! Make it known that YOU DONT want to be kept alive by any means beyond your own body's defenses.
This is what I call being responsible for yourself!! I know you DID not write this because you are not compassionate, I know you took care of YOUR mother as I am taking care of MINE..WE did/are doing the RIGHT THING--

Note: DO you know in MANY states if an ambulance is called for you BY ANYONE (it could be the neighbor across the street, or your X, your Child, your enemy) Doesnt matter if your name and address are entered into the system and you are there when they arrive-- and you are over age 72-- YOU WILL BE FORCED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL??? Well I've seen people TIED to stretchers and with the help of the EMS, NYPD, and ESU, DOORS KNOCKED OPEN AND people FORCEALBY REMOVED from their HOMES!!!

Randy said...

Joe: Thanks for taking the time to comment. I was hoping someone would put it to me as clearly as you have.
Most everything you say is true--I unabashedly embrace it.
1. What would I have these folks do?
I will answer that in an addendum to the blog.
2. Yes, I'm blissfully detached---allowing me to wander and JUDGE. (i.e. give my opinion of what I see and experience. I point you to chapter one of Walden by Thoreau where, from his "detached" position, he judges his neighbors, their lifestyles, their greed, addictions, waste of life and resources, morality etc)
3. Re my family---I have no wife or kids. Only 2 sisters who love me but think I'm a little whacko--as you do.
4. I am bemused by the plights of others---their stresses do not particularly stress me. I think of the whole worlds happenings as a kind of cosmic drama I am witnessing and participating in to some small degree.
I hope to make a tiny difference by sharing myself via this blog. (I can serve--perhaps as a bad example)
5. I have no special qualifications for my judgements. They resonate with my readers---or they don't.
6. I do hope not to fall victim to the infirmities I mentioned----but if I do---I have made careful plans not to burden society with my disintegration and demise. (I carry the bullet with me) Yes indeed I have painted myself into a corner with this post---and I'm OK with that.

Randy said...

Sondra: Thank you for your first hand insights and analysis. I read it after I responded to Joe. much of what I said was unnecessary. The Nation will either go broke with the current system or make some sensible changes. I hope Joe reads your essay.

mattc said...

Great post, Randy. I'm only in my 30's but I agree with your main point and Sondra's.

Why does this our government spend tons of $$ on people over 70 but those in their prime get little to no support?

Oh yeah, seniors vote and young people don't.

It's one thing to give seniors support for dignified end of life care but quite another to allow the "medical industrial complex" (bigger then the military one?) to perform expensive and radical interventions that extend lives for a couple more months or years...

Of course this is a problem of our collective American (un)consciousness.

Keep calling them as you see 'em crazy codger!

Wayne (Wirs) said...

"Bravo," for such a powerful and controversial post Randy!

After reading it this morning (14 hours ago), I sat there for literally 15 minutes trying to put into words my reactions.

Even now, I'm still torn.

I'm in total agreement with you on Quality of Life (an examined life may not be worth living!)

I'm surprised at the anger you foster toward the elderly men in your encounter (and suspect a bit of projection). Nonetheless, I admire your honesty in revealing it.

Still, there seems to be something missing... a hole in this story... maybe it's the unasked question implied by it: Why do mortals cling to life?

I don't know (if that's the hole), like I said, this post left me a little... a-swirl.

Good post. Keep them coming.

Glenn said...

Randy,
I read this twice and waited until the next day to reply. That's what I do when my emotions want to yell out.
I think we all base our judgments on our own experiences. In this case I think you see your future. Living alone, wandering the earth with no attachments, when that minor stroke or debilitating injury comes along, you'll be one of them!
Carrying that bullet and telling everyone about your grand plan is just so much BS! It sounds good over a couple of beers but is just talk.
Put together your DNR and living will. Give a copy to your family and hope you never become a burden.

As a side note, to argue against your basic Libertarian premise. The happiest people in the world live in socialist countries. As Ayn Rand says, "check your premises."
Glenn

Brit said...

I regularly read your posts, and rarely comment. Some of your words of wisdom helped me see the light in becoming a 43 year old full-timer. Something I did about 9 months ago.

While I am not personally offended or even terribly excited about this, I have to think that you haven't learned all that you think you have in your lifetime.

I am a nurse. Not your typical "it's a calling," gushing-showering love type of nurse, but a nurse none the less.

I can recall MANY examples of what you write about. Real Randy Ratifiers. I can even recall thinking that some of the people I treat are wastes of life. I live in Mississippi, and The amount of people that are born into the public dole is staggering. I watch these people grow up into real talented "Takers." They become adept at saying and doing just the right thing to be able to live a live free of being encumbered with a need to work or worry about whether or not they will receive healthcare. They strike me as the very people you are posting about. They're just drains on the system - a system that was originally created with good intentions but has become bastardized into something that will become our undoing.

But now the point I wish to convey.

As human beings - animals with higher functioning brains, and abilities to comprehend such lofty constructs as beauty, love, satisfaction and happiness - we sometimes fall prey to the flesh.

Our bodies, including our nervous systems ARE NOT SIMPLY EXTENSIONS OF OUR WILL. There are occurrences that we simply are not able to predict, or accommodate, that render us incapacitated in one of several ways.

When you're behind a doddering old fool in the line at the store, or at the traffic light, it's easy to think that they let themselves get that way, that who they are right now is a result, nay - manifestation of their lack of a quest to live... but at least allow for the possibility that they really are doing the best they can with what they got dealt.

I have often thought that when I reach the stage in my life where I begin my decline into uselessness that I shall sail into sunset never to return. Becoming fish food, or dehydrating on some deserted beach in the Caribbean.

Sometimes however we do not have control over our lives to the extent you believe you always will.

Respectfully yours-

Randy said...

Glenn: I'm glad you felt enraged enough to share your thoughts. I think rage sometimes serves us personally and even societally en masse---like the rage against tyranny in the middle east.
Your speculation about the psychological source of my rage was echoed by others and has given me something to think about. When I attain clarity, I will post it.
And you may be right about my "bullet talk" as "just talk". We won't know, will we---till the time comes. I say it out loud--hoping--if nothing else--that sheer pride will help me pull the trigger. I hope to live to a healthy hundred--my grandfather did. (Thoreau: living is so dear) However, I am determined to die and disappear frugally. My good friend Trevor Sheehe did indeed courageously eat the poisoned applesauce when his time came---I wrote about it http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com/2007/05/how-to-die-heros-death.html
I will take your advice on DNR and a living will--thanks.
and re: the libertarian stuff: Just read O'Rourkes EAT THE RICH Will deal with that issue later.

john patrick said...

We sentence "criminals" to death. Is it any wonder that good people want to avoid it at all cost. Not only the unknown element of it, but the cultural norm of it being a punishment.

I'm not saying some people shouldn't be removed from society, but making the death penalty the "highest" form of punishment, we do harm to the idea of it being the normal/natural cycle of life.

I tend to think that the greatest fear, and motivating force to "live", (at least in our culture) is to outsmart and outrun the process of dying. Yet, it could be grasped as an open door to a new adventure.

Kinda' like Randy, when he starts the truck and heads off to a new destination...

Red Meador said...

`I didn't wrestle with responding.
Sometime randy ,I think you are just plain insane other time sharp as a tack. This is one of the moments when I think you should be put in a padded cell to protect yourself and others.
Red

Anonymous said...

Randy you asked:
"ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WE BECOME?? SHOULD WE BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE??"

That is a such a 'new age' question. Are we responsible for what we have become?

Just asking that question implies that someone else might be responsible for us. If someone else is responsible for us then there is nothing wrong with someone else making decisions for us.

Who else but a homeless wander with grand ideas should be making decisions for us like when someone should die?
I especially liked the part where this homeless wander made the decision on life/death depending on the individual's ability to entertain him.

A very thought provoking essay, sick, but thought provoking.

Rita said...

Have to wonder if something is going on in your life currently to cause you to make such a rant.

You can't just look at people and know their life history.

Many people in nursing homes are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Others have been put there by some agency or their families. I am sure a widow who has to sell her house and belongings to share a hospital room with a stranger is not happy about it.

Many doctors make most of their income on nursing home patients and older people in general. Their standard of living might decline (gasp) if they had to give them up.

There are already committees that decide life and death matters. Health insurers and HMO's that decline life-saving procedures,and transplant committees that determine who gets life-saving transplants.

Ron said...

I guess it's no wonder that because I've lived my life much like Randy has my views, in large part, I concur.

As a very new senior (63 y/o with coronary artery disease but still quite healthy today), I liked this blog. Having said that, you blogs are clearly most appreciated when you post from a more positive outlook.

Several years ago I knew some people that 'fostered' and old man and they (and he) seemed to like it a lot. He seemed to become a new (even appreciated) "grampa" to the family.

I liked all of your suggestions, including the 'death panels' (within those mentioned parameters), though we must find a more positive term for that assistance group.

Once I become 'tired of living' I hope I'll have the courage and the right to exercise an 'assisted death'. Due to this blog, I will make my DPOAH, my end of life 5 wishes.

I have eaten at Senior lunch dens a fair amount and I agree it's heard to find much more than those 'laboring" (often begrudgingly) to live... very few seeming to be enjoying life.

Still, we all must (yes Randy, even you and I), take some blame for for the situation our society is in with it's current moral attitudes and anxieties. We have both spoken quite differently from the pulpit even, many years ago.
We can claim that our eyes are FINALLY open and maybe they are, but maybe we won't know until or unless we walk a bit in their shoes.
Then again, maybe (in large part anyway), maybe I have. I was once constrained by religious dogma.
I do think that one of the strongest forces against 'greeting life's demise' is our religions. Rather than helping us to leave life when it is effectively over, our religions (with very few exceptions) tend to generate great fear.
Frankly, I'm so grateful to be free of religious dogma today, a proud believer that there is NO God!
Ron

Rustedgranny said...

Whoa Randy!

You’ve stirred this one up, but good.
At first I thought you’d gone way too far. But then I thought about it, and read what your followers had to say. Thank you to Sondra, mattc and brit.
Now my take on it.
One. I adore old people, have enjoyed their company (and sought it out) all my life.
Two. No matter what care we take of our bodies and our finances, in the end we have no control over forces that dictate our fate. Sickness unexpectedly arrives to the carefully healthy. Greed of others wipes out the financially cautious.
Three. I agree strongly with those who bemoan the machine we call healthcare. I have family members who are being “treated” for things (being old and wearing out) which cannot be cured.
Four. Until those of us who are willing, and brave enough, stand up and push Religion out of having control over so much of our lives, sensible solutions will go wanting. Why is it that they push so hard to keep living, while at the same time promoting the joys of their heaven?
Five. Having personal choice over our own lives and bodies was taken away from us (by Religion) and we’ll play hell getting it back. It’s MY damn kidney. If I want to Sell it to support my family or buy a fancy car, or shove drugs up my nose, it’s MY damn business – or it should be. If I’ve become infirm (at any age) and no longer wish to fight, I should be allowed that decision as well.
Six. Randy, it sure sounds good to be in a position to make the “final decision.” But that bullet won’t do you any good if a stroke drops you as you step out of your trailer leaving your body unable to utilize it. Seven. Yes! By all means, let’s allow those who are unwilling to provide for themselves or be a contributing member of society to sink or swim on their own. Cruel? Maybe. Sensible? Yes. I think hunger and cold could be a motivating factor in acquiring a new attitude. No. I’m NOT talking about elderly who have no choices, I’m talking about young people who are perfectly capable and lazy.
Eight. Each of us who are lucky or smart enough to be healthy, and living comfortably, should try to give just a bit of joy to those who are older than ourselves. Approach an old person with a non-judgmental intention and be amazed at what you get back. Sure, some of them will simply bark or suspect your intentions, but so does a dog beaten and chained.

Randy said...

Double wow! RustedGranny (I prefer WINGEDGRANNY) I'm humbled! Thanks for taking the time to shed so much light on the issue.

Mainer said...

Wow, what a hot post and follow up comments, enjoyed it all....I agree with Rustedgranny, I think she has nailed it. Look forward to more MK posts.

Ron said...

Thank you "Rusted Granny" I appreciated all that you shared.

Let's not forget the "pogo" cartoon of long ago, "I have met the enemy and he is (or at least has been) me."

Our entire capitalist/marketing system (the American way), has been to diminish and dehumanize the elderly. We do nothing to acknowledge and appreciate the wisdom of the elderly. We encourage each other to "use it once and throw it away"

Sadly even all of us that are among the elderly today, treated OUR elderly (in many ways) as "worthless to society" just a few years ago.

Let's all stand and say' "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" "I do have value!"
Now let's attach feet to our words an prove that we have something of value to offer our society.

I for one have a passion for "fair and reasonable (non profit), health care for all"
and I'm committed to working to that end.

How will you put "feet" on your hopes and dreams?

Anonymous said...

Moan and groan
Speak in ill tones
Society perceives and judges all by
altitude determined by your attitude.
The last several post displayed lives
and lifestyles within our society. You must choose.
Fear of becoming what we don't want to become has roused the most comments.(24)
Hard work and sheer determination has the least.
While fun and flair developed a few more.
A meaningless analogy of what we have become.

Mary Matzek said...

Hi Randy,

All of your suggestions, but not your judgements, about the old age blog were good ones, except using the words "death squads" is kind of outlandish. Aren't you close to 77 years old? Maybe 73? You should have a chip in your palm as in Blade Runner and set an example! I once was quite frustrated by this little woman who belonged to the same political club as me. She was older, seemed brainless and rarely engaged in any kind of meaningful conversation; never contributed suggestions, just brought flowers for the tables, or small tasks relegated to those who are unthinking sheep. Platitudes, "how are you, Mary" a smile, not really caring to know. Then, and then the epiphany: I had an Indonesian Exchange student and she read about it in the paper. (Who would have thought she even read the paper?) She asked me if she could meet Linda and come to my house with a friend and bring lunch. She came with a Pakistani friend and her two daughters. They took over my kitchen and made Indian bread. They were friendly and warm. This "nothing woman" had cooked specialty foods, a delicious lamb curry, a huge baked fish in an indescribably delicious hot sauce, exotic fruits and talk of exotic cooking and countries she had visited- all new to me. Wonderful conversation about the muslim religion of which she was a part,(only I never knew.) Her husband, a black man I'd met who was always very quiet and never said much, was an attachee to the Phillipines for the U.S. Government. She brought with her gifts for my student, spoke seven languages. She brought a beautiful piece of fabric as a gift to me that I treasure to this day as a reminder of my rash judgement of others. She brought pictures of foreign lands and spoke eloquently of her father's death and funeral. She recited a poem about him she had written. I was overwhelmed by shame at my snap judgement of this lovely woman. I know you have a great affection for people and I took your piece as a bit of shit stirring. So, thought I'd relate my experience.
Mary Matzek

Randy said...

Thanks Mary---Point well made---I should have directed my rant at the system and not its victims. Having interviewed the full range of humanity, I know how terribly misguided my first judgement can be--Often with a bit of digging I uncover gold. Wayne Wirs and others wondered if I was raging against my own approaching situation---who knows--maybe!

Mainer said...

Mary Matzek, a WONDERFUL story and point made.

Tom said...

My 91 year old mom has dementia. It has consumed my life for the last few years and I have not had much freedom to travel. I read your blog as an escape.

She's frequently unhappy, in pain, or anxious. Sbe is "herself" at times and can be somewhat like a sweet child.

We don't have the foresight to determine whether a minor medical setback can be completely overcome, or lead to much worse conditions. So we undergo the treatment in hope for recovery. I think when push comes to shove you'll do the same. The goal to choose to continue the rich life you're living.

I make my mom's medical decisions. It is very difficult to pull the plug on a loved one. Because the future is unknown, you also consider that treatment may cause less pain and suffering than leaving the problem untreated.

Basically I will let her slip away when a clearly terminal event occurs. At that time, I will try to make her comfortable and not fight to prolong life.

Something tells me you may fight for life a lot more than you think. Because the circumstances of what constitutes an end game illness often aren't clear.

Randy said...

Thank you Tom for bringing to sharp focus the fuzzy heart of this issue by sharing the real life situation with your mother. Truly, It is not easy to decide when and how to deal with a terminally ill loved one. I needed help with my Mother--physically and psychologically in making the tough calls. I think that's why we need the (so called) Death Panels so derided by Sarah Palin to help us navigate these murky waters. Somewhere between a wasteful sentimentality and a premature abandonment is a reasonable point of letting go. I'm humbled by your story and some of the others---the rage is gone and I just want to work with rational people like yourself to creatively deal with the tough calls.

Anonymous said...

We claim to be an advanced civilized nation yet so many of our people don't believe health care should be a right. I'm sure those pathetic people would feel otherwise when their precious health is on the line and they get refused care. The self righteous scream the loudest when the indignities they espouse happen to them.

It is a fact that most health care expenses happen in the last few months of life. In my experience and research always blaming the patient is a mistake. Many times it is the doctor or the hospital that refuses to stop treating the patient. Keep the meter running. For example. A guy I know had a stroke and it was obvious he was a goner. They flight-for-lifed him to the big city so some high priced brain surgeon could operate and then declare the operation a failure and the guy was a goner. The wife requested he be removed from life support, which was her legal right, and the doctor refused. Claimed he needed to see the guys living will before unhooking. The family had to make a 100 mile round trip to get the will and in the meantime the meter was running on all those expensive ICU machines. If the guy hadn't had a living will they could have kept this guy hooked up and medicare on the hook until the limit was reached whereupon they would have gladly let him die. There have been countless instances when people had to go to court to get treatment stopped and were not always successful.

Between medical errors and infections hospitals in this country kill 200,000 otherwise healthy people every year. Lawyers are vultures who would sue over a hangnail but without their presence those same hospitals would probably kill 2 million a year.

Ed said...

RANDY'S SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH DISABLED ELDERLY:

1. CREATE A FOSTER CARE SYSTEM FOR THEM.

I think you could have stopped with just this item. However, rather than a Death Panel make it automatic: If not 'adopted' by a Foster Home the Disabled Elderly is put to death.

The evolving ethics that you have written about on occasion should get our Society to that point soon. Perhaps you do not have to save that bullet, someone will have one for you.

Boonie said...

I think the discussion has gotten off track. For me, the essence of your post was "HOW DARE ALL THESE PEOPLE ARRIVE AT OLD AGE WITH SO LITTLE TO SHOW FOR A LIFETIME OF LIVING."

But the discussion has gone off to euthanasia, death panels, and issues about end-game health care.

I wish you would come up with another post about the worthlessness of Old Age as lived by many people BEFORE they begin "circling the drain", medically speaking. These are really two separate issues.

At any rate, this has been one of your blockbuster posts. I wonder where all those commenters have been hiding until now.

D0N said...

If going to a retirement home makes you mad, I'd love to see your blog entry after you visit a welfare office in any medium to large city! I don't disagree with you but honestly, there are a lot better targets for your anger than poor old folks.