The US has been looking for the best ways in which it can trim off its spending. However, there are some healthcare practices that place the government into an ethical dilemma. The issue regarding whether it is right to allocate the already scare medical care resources for end-of-life care is not yet resolved. Some people have argued that there is a need for rationing when allocating such resources. Nevertheless, the bigger problem is the limitless needs while the resources are scarce. The dollars put into the end-of-life care is not the most effective way of allocating scarce medical care resource because it does not involve savings since needs are limitless.
Death is inevitable and research has it that 100 percent of the citizens of Americans will eventually die. However, the idea of trying to make an individual die with dignity by allocating more resources towards their end-of-life is unnecessary. It is because in the end of the day, the person will die meaning that no savings will be made. It is the reason the process is not cost-effective in any way rather can be considered as unnecessary expenditure. The best way in which the issue can be resolved is by rationing though the process is already being implemented in health care organizations. It is the only ethical means of ensuring that the family’s demands are met without any form of discrimination. The government should allocate minimal amount of money for end-of-life care while the remaining money to be distributed to the elderly and those individuals who are hopelessly sick (Czaja & Sharit, 2009). Through this, the resources which is already limited can be put to a better use to save a life rather than taking care of a person who is about to die.
However, some people have argued that it is not possible to determine the end-of-near life of an individual. It is because there are instances when some patient’s were considered as hopeless cases but managed to recover from intensive care units or on life support. These individuals hence support the need for the government to allocate resources for care of patients who are nearing death. They claim that it is unethical to stop offering care for a patient because they look hopeless. However, regardless of these claims having been made, the main question that can be asked is the case where someone is diagnosed with a chronic disease like late stage cancer of the brain or liver (Czaja & Sharit, 2009). In this case, the only thing that can be done is offer intensive care to the individual as a way to prolong their life before they die. However, during the process, a lot of money will be spent but no benefits will accrue from it. The government is, therefore, left with unnecessary bills to pay.
The best way in which the problem can be resolved is by allowing the family members to bear the costs of end-of-life care. It is because they are the ones desiring for longer and happier life for their loved one. There is no need for the public to be taxed heavily to cater for such expenses. Through this, the family can make a concrete choice of whether to continue with care or not as a way to avoid additional bills (Czaja & Sharit, 2009). The issue of end-of life care cannot be an individual effort because it is not only demanding financially but also emotionally. Furthermore, one person cannot make the decision regarding the life of another hence it should be a family decision to either continue with the care or not.
In conclusion, end-of life care is not the most effective way of allocating scarce medical care resource because it does not involve savings since needs are limitless. The family should take the responsibility to pay for the finances if they decide that their patient needs that care to prolong their life. It is the best and ethical thing to do because when someone is sick, they are the ones who pay for the services offered by healthcare institution and not the public.
Czaja, S. & Sharit, J. (2009, Mar 16). The aging of the population: Opportunities and challenges for human factors engineering. The National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved from https://www.nae.edu/19582/Bridge/TechnologiesforanAgingPopulation/TheAgingofthePopulation.aspx