Hospice provides comfort during the last months of life. But many patients requiring dialysis cannot, or do not, take advantage of this care. We need to do less harm.
The recent self-death by 104-year old scientist David Goodall brings to the fore a key question: Whether to deem deterioration from advanced aging – beyond having an incurable disease – as another reasonable consideration for euthanasia.
We all have to die. Those of us who process that reality ahead of time might be lucky enough to have a small say over the time and location of our unavoidable demise. And in the process, we may help society as a whole come to terms with death. That is why we applaud the increase in deaths that are occurring at hospices.
Brad Harris, owner of Novus Health Care Services, Inc., in Frisco, Texas, which says it "offers hospice and home health-care services", regularly directed nurses to give hospice patients overdoses of drugs to speed up their deaths, according to FBI documents filed to obtain a search warrant. The FBI says he sent text messages like, "You need to make this patient go bye-bye." Why? Longer stays are unprofitable because Medicare and Medicaid payments have an "aggregator cap" based on the yearly average hospice stay. So short stays mean paying back less money.