Should a 90 year-old get the same medical care that a 20 year-old gets.?

Before you scream "DEATH PANEL!" at me please hear out my argument.

Some of you may have heard about the recent cytarabine shortage, it is a cancer drug for a type of leukemia that has survival rate of 0% if not treated and about 40-50% if treated with the drug, it is the only drug that can treat this type of leukemia and can be contracted by someone of any age.

This is not the only drug shortage that we have, and most people aren't even aware that we are having drug shortages.

This is not an issue that anyone seems to want to talk about but I think it is something that needs to be talked about, respectfully, should we really be using drugs like cytarabine on people that most likely don't have many years left.

Of course we should do whatever is in our power to help people if possible, but I think we actually need to be rational about this and realize that there are now 7 billion people in the world right now and we don't have an infinite supply of drugs. I do think we should do whatever we can to make someones last years as comfortable as possible but it's just not reasonable to treat a 90 year-old with the some urgency as a 20 year-old.

This is my opinion and I know it's controversial, but I want to know what you guys think.


What I've described is not the same Eugenics Hitler prescribed to, and the Progressives of Hitlers time are not the Progressives of today.

I don't want people to misunderstand my intentions, I wish we could treat every single person in the entire world, but right now it's impossible, we are treating 90 year-olds who go into remission and then die the next year of "natural causes"

I don't want to gas the elderly or "pull the plug" on them, I want us to do what we can but we need to understand that we don't have an infinite supply of drugs to treat people.

20 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    According to Obama and his people you should cut off resources after a certain age. That is Holdren's view and the view of most involved in the question in the Obama administration. It comes right out of Eugenics is the funny thing, the book Hitler used to justify and create his social engineering programs. I'm not joking, Hitler asked for the book from Progressives, they sent it, he used it, Progressives openly loved Hitler until it became dangerous to acknowledge this in public. He was progressing with their program way ahead of them.

    Death Panels is a good way to describe them. Unless you prescribe to the philosophy of treating humans as live stock, it's an ugly deal.

    That's the problem with Government controlled lives, you become live stock to them, and they have the power to treat you as such.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    In answer to your question!!!!!!!!Yes everyone should be entitled to the same treatment. It should not be a matter of money or finances or age but a matter of need.We are Americans we all hopefully stand for the same thing in this great country. Even if we disagree on everything from politics to religion that is our freedom.

    My mother in law is suffering from leukemia and does not have that much time left.We are planning her 90th birthday in July and with the grace of God and the drugs that they are using to keep her alive she just might make it. What gives anyone a right to judge who should or should not benefit from what our medical field has to offer. Her husband fought in the second world war in the Navy and his ship was fired upon every day from the enemy. He would have given his life for his country. That is the very reason his wife should benefit from this treatment. Yes, so should a 20 year old because if they survive maybe they then could achieve something great someday.

    Maybe the solution should be instead of judging who should receive the drug or who should not ,we should lobby in congress so that the drug companies make more of it so as no one has to suffer or die unneccesarily.Why is there a shortage? Who is responsible? Is it money? Maybe someone can make it happen.

    My mother in law still has a lot to offer to her family and her friends she has led a long and very productive life she will be greatly missed if not for the treatment she has received she would already have been gone. I lost my mom to cancer at age 68 I still cry and morn for her 8 years later. There is nothing that can justify discrimating against someone because of their age to save their life.

    Source(s): I googled leukemia in 90 year olds and came upon this script.
  • LOL
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    The controversial part is whether we should have laws to decide this matter. In the event of a shortage of a medicine many elderly people would voluntarily agree to giving a younger person the medicine instead of claiming it for themselves. Most elderly Americans are very decent people who have unselfishly done a lot of things for a lot of people. Because of that their lives should be valued as highly as any others, and passing a law to put them at the back of the line for anything is unjustified. We have far too many laws at this point, and laws that amount to an insult, preferential treatment, and more government authority should be the first to go, not be encouraged.

    There is an inherit problem with laws. Governments and many of the people a government is comprised of are often selfish and corrupt. It’s a pretty sure thing that whoever makes the rules will exploit whoever follows the rules.

  • 10 years ago

    What you describe is exactly what everyone was talking about with Death Panels. It is a measure of Quality Adjusted Remaining Life Years. And I fully understand that it seems like a kindness to you. The fundamental premise is based on an ethical theory called Utilitarianism. Basically that which does the "most good" for the "most people" is the right thing to do. In fact when government gets involved in health care decisions, it is the only way they can logically distribute resources. However, in a free market, patients get to decide how much their life is worth to them and purchase the medications they need. An elderly person might decide that it is not worth it and forgo treatment. But they might have 20 more years in them that are worth living. Who are you to decide their life is worthless? Utilitarianism seems like a good system on the surface, but it often leads to a tyranny of the majority. When all decisions are rated by what does the most good for the most people, minorities that are on the fringe of society tend to absorb the brunt of any hardship. If only a small percentage of the population must die to ensure that most people are healthier, happier, and more prosperous, wouldn't that be the right thing to do? This is the kind of benevolence that genocide is made of.

    I had something like this happen to me. I'm a disabled veteran. According to the VA, I am "permanently and totally disabled" from a 100% service connected disability. Silly me, I used to think that put me at the head of the line. But no. You see, my condition is incurable. There are some treatments that can alleviate the agonizing pain I suffer every day, but they will never cure me and my symptoms will return when the treatment stops. This seemed perfectly fine to me after 7 years in gut wrenching agony. I could stand going up to the VA Hospital once a week for the rest of my life if I could live without pain. But they kept pushing my appointments farther apart and my symptoms returned. I asked the doctor to return me to the once a week schedule so I could stay healthy. He then explained to me that the treatment had failed. I asked how that could be a failure when it worked. He said that he is only available half a day a week to provide this service at the VA. In that time he can treat 4 patients. He had more than 200 veterans waiting for treatment. Some of those veterans could be cured and restored to full health after only a few sessions. But I would always need to keep coming back. So the government deemed it to be a waste of resources to provide lifelong care to an uncurable case when hundreds of others could be made healthy in my place. I was dropped from the program. My symptoms returned. And I live every day in gut wrenching, agonizing pain. That was 9 years ago. Did they take me out and shoot me? No, that would've been a kindness. They just cut me off from the one treatment that could save me from an eternity in living hell. I understand the rationale behind their rationing. The most good for the most people. But I could have lived a life far better than what I'm living now. I might have been able to finish college. Who knows how many lives I could improve if I were living without pain? But I was deemed unworthy and condemned to suffer until I die. Who knows? Maybe someday you will be the one left to die because your life is not worth saving.

    I was only 19 years old when I was injured. 26 when they decided I wasn't worth saving anymore. Now I'm 35. I've lived in pain for nearly half my life. When does a life become worthless?

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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  • 10 years ago

    With the current medical system we have, Medicare would pay for the treatment while the uninsured 20 year old would be told, "Sorry, Medicaid doesn't cover it." Even if he was on Medicaid. Chances are, he's not, so he would have even less chance.

    As far as should, I would have to evaluate the side effects of the drug and determine whether or not I thought it would be worth it for my 91-year-old mother to take it.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    Yes, they are citizens just as much as that 20 year old. The difference is a 90 year old has already contributed a lifetime to this country where as a 20 year old probably hasn't contributed much at all. I refuse to base who deserves care on what potential they MIGHT have.

  • 10 years ago

    More than likely if you told the 90 year old conservative the scoop the 90 year old would gladly volunteer to let the 20 year old be treated first. At least I know i would, but to allow the treatment facility or government to make the choice is unethical.

  • 10 years ago

    depends. is the 20 year old a constant problem? has he/she ever worked or attending college? are they paying their own medical bills or are we the tax payers?

    I'd rather take care of a 90 year old that worked all their life and paid into the system than a 20-30 year old that is a constant problem.

    I do agree that if both are in need & are fine law abiding citizens, then the 20 year old should receive medicine first.

  • Ella
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Anyone over 80 has pretty much lived out their life expectancy.

    So younger people should have more priority with the drugs than an older person.

    However if the 20 year old is a drug addict, in and out of jail, gang member, murderer, or some other kind of derelict of society, then NO the person should not be allowed the same kind of treatment.

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