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Yet another reason it
Yet another reason it
Death Less Painful for the Rich
By Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Senior Writer
posted: 08 July 2005
10:23 am ET
Maybe money can't buy everything, but a new study finds the wealthy manage to fund reduced misery in their last year on this planet.
People 70 or older whose net worth was at least $70,000 were 30 percent less likely than poorer people to have felt pain often during the year before they died.
The University of Michigan study will be detailed in the August issue of the Journal of Palliative Care.
Researchers analyzed data on 2,604 men and women age 70 or older who died between 1993 and 2000. When a study subject died, researchers interviewed spouses or others to learn about their last months of life and the circumstances of their death.
The well-off experienced fewer symptoms overall, the investigation found. They had less pain and were less likely to experience shortness of breath or depression.
Everybody tends to suffer toward the end, however.
"Regardless of wealth, older Americans carry an unacceptable burden of suffering in their last year of life," said Maria Silveira, a physician at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System and a research scientist at the university.
Fatigue was the most common symptom, experienced by 57 percent of those who died. More than 50 percent experienced pain, and 59 percent of those who experienced pain were reported to have suffered pain at severe levels.
The study might direct changes in health care for the elderly, the researchers suggest.
Pain, depression, and shortness of breath "are treatable symptoms," said University of Michigan co-researcher Kenneth Langa, "and not an inevitable part of the dying process."
"Our current health system provides palliative care mostly through hospice and hospitals," said Silveira, the lead author of the study. "As a result, health care providers' radar may be set to miss older adults unless they have a reason to become hospitalized."
Not sure I would have been willing to a member of this study. There you are, dying, and some grad students wander in to check on your pain and how much money you have in the bank. Seems kind of inappropriate, somehow. Maybe the knowledge gained overrides, but wasn't this one relly pretty much common sense? More money = better care = less pain.
7/10/2005 12:09 pm
My favorite study ever was in the 70s.100s of thousands of dollars to find out why children fall off tricycles.The study found, They loose they're balance or bump into something.I could have told them that for only $10,000.Got to love government thinking.|
7/10/2005 6:41 pm
I'm a nurse, and I work in the ghettos of Detroit. And I am a big advocate for my patients to be comfortable--as much as possible. I know in the hospital setting, this is a goal. But the reality is: if one is dying, there will be pain and suffering involved. And how much money a person makes is really irrelevant. I've cared for homeless people that have not a cent, and I've taken care of judges and CEOs and have given both groups the most compassionate care possible.|
Perhaps the benefit of this study is looking at the elderly population as a whole. Sadly they are ignored and discarded (e.g., just dumped in a nursing home). Or maybe like the above comment, they just want to fight over the assets once Grandpa dies.....