British doctors told to identify the one percent frailest

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British doctors told to identify the one percent frailest

(October 2012) The UK’s Daily Mail reports, “GPs have been asked to select one in every 100 of their patients to go on a list of those likely to die over the next 12 months.”  They have been old to select patients who “show indicators of frailty and deterioration”  and that “older people are a priority to consider.”

The goal is to save money by withholding services.  The logic is that if people are going to die anyway, it is a waste of money to provide expensive treatments “of limited clinical value.”  Material provided to doctors pointed out the savings to the health system that would accrue if these patients each had one fewer hospital admission during their last months.

The Daily Mail said also: “The listed patients may be asked to say where they would prefer to die and should be told they can draw up a ‘living will’ by which they can instruct doctors to withdraw life-saving treatment if they become incapacitated in hospital.”

If services are withheld from the frail elderly, then many will die ho might have lived, and the “prediction” will be self-fulfilling.

The new U.S. healthcare system has built-in biases that in the future will consider the number of years or months of quality living a given patient can expect; this will be part of the information used to decide whether that patient will be allowed certain procedures or treatments.

This is a more formal method of the new British system, but the end result will be the same.  Patients who are elderly and frail will not necessarily receive the treatments that would prolong their lives while giving them the best health with help possible to enjoy the time.

Put 1 in 100 patients on death list, GPs told: Frailest to be asked to choose ‘end-of-life’ care

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