X-Message-Number: 25221
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 14:22:16 EST
Subject: Living Wills

As this is slightly off topic I'll keep it short.
The economist Samuelson, writing of the high cost of medical insurance,  
remarks gloomily that the cost of care is unalterably high because 70% of the  
expense goes to care for the sickest people.  And doctors speak of horrible  
third floors where vegetables are kept alive on machines at vast expense.
The great majority of people curse at this, and swear they would not  want to 
be kept alive thus. But, absent living wills, they end up this way  anyhow.
So, would it not make sense, when people sign up for medicare or any  

insurance, to PAY them to fill out a living will?  Or even require it. No  

should be brought to make them opt out of heroic measures when it is  pointless
-- they should be able to opt for the whole works if they want and  that 

should be easy to do.  But, if forced to think about it, most people  will want 
go easily.  So, having a living will for everyone should cut  down markedly 
on pointless expensive end-of-life care and make our medical care  much more 
For cryonicists, it should make deanimating at a known time slightly more  
Even private insurance could require this form be completed when someone  
applied.  Comments?  Rudy, do you know if this has been tried?
Alan Mole 

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