A sure-to-be controversial article appears in the Chicago Tribune earlier this asking the sensitive question of ‘Health care at any age, any cost?:’
“If you want to save all lives, you’re in trouble,” said Callahan, co-founder of The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute in New York, and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, in an interview. “And if you want to save all lives at any cost, you’re really in trouble.”
Callahan and co-author Nuland, a retired professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine who wrote the best-selling “How We Die,” were both 80 when the article was published.
“We need to stop thinking of medicine as an all-out war against death, because death always wins,” said Callahan.
The article goes on the make some bold demands of doctors: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*
Getting a flu vaccine is on many “to do” lists in the fall, but for those who still haven’t checked it off their list, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Many people don’t realize that flu activity usually peaks in the United States in January or February, and flu viruses can circulate as late as May. As long as there’s flu around, it isn’t too late to get vaccinated.
Getting a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against the flu, and CDC recommends influenza vaccination for everyone age 6 months and older. We urge you and all health care professionals to get vaccinated yourselves and offer flu vaccine at every opportunity to every patient—except infants younger than 6 months and the very few people for whom flu vaccination is contraindicated.
Studies show that your recommendation makes the difference in your patients’ decision to get a flu vaccine. You should continue to emphasize the importance of flu vaccination for your patients. And, if you don’t already do so, consider offering flu vaccines to patients in your own practice, even if yours is a sub-specialty practice and you don’t see yourself as a vaccine provider. Even if you don’t offer flu vaccines, you can still recommend and emphasize the importance of flu vaccination as a way to keep your patients—and their families—protected throughout the season.
As promising as it is sounds that flu vaccination rates are increasing among children and healthcare personnel, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Safe Healthcare*
Researchers found that while the vast majority of smokers want to stop, the vast majority who wanted to got little support from their health care providers. Not that they’d approached their provider, either.
68.8% of current cigarette smokers said they would like to completely stop smoking, and 52.4% had tried to quit smoking in the past year. However, 68.3% of the smokers who tried to quit did so without using evidence-based cessation counseling or medications, and only 48.3% of those who had visited a health-care provider in the past year reported receiving advice to quit smoking.
Little overall change has been observed in these measures in the past decade. However, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
On my way to the annual two-day blowout health law seminar put on by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) on Monday — I was second in the lineup, speaking about post-acute care and some of the innovations in that arena for dual eligibles, among other things — I heard a fascinating piece on NPR on one of the ideas floating around the supercommittee charged with cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal budget. The idea: increase the minimum age for Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67, and save a bundle for Medicare in the process.
The problem with this deceptively simple idea (Social Security eligibility is migrating from 65 to 67, too, so it seems to be a sensible idea on its face), is that while it would save the federales about $6 billion, net, in 2014, it would cost purchasers of non-Medicare coverage (employers and individuals) about $8 billion, net. Why? The 65 and 66 year olds are the spring chickens of Medicare — they actually Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog*
I happened to see this press release from American Society of Nephrology via Eurekalert regarding an article in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN) advocating the safety of kidney donation in individuals over 70 years old. The press release does note that kidneys from these elderly donors do not last as long as those from younger living donors.
Currently, as noted on the University of Maryland Medical Center website:
Donors need to be between the ages of 18 and early 70s and can include parents, children, siblings, other relatives, and friends. An ideal donor should have a genuine interest in donating and a compatible blood type with the recipient.
Donors should be in good general health. Donors do not need to be Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*