Monday, October 19, 2009

Ohio Palliative Doctor Goes to Washington.

Dr. David Wentzel has been invited by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine to visit Washington to consult with Ohio Senators Grassley, Harkin, and Larkin on palliative and end of life care in regards to the health care reform bill. Wentzel told

"I have yet to find a patient who said to me, 'Yes, please i want to die in the ICU hooked up to machines,' and all that stuff, I've never had a patient say that to me ever. They always say the same thing, especially when I encounter them in the hospital, 'Get me out of here, I want to be home with my family," said Wensel.

Doctor Wensel says doctors have a hard time predicting how long people will live and they often are too optimistic, so not enough people get hospice soon enough.

"In some way it sorts of robs patients and family of very crucial time," said Wensel.

Instead he says, most patients spend their last months in intensive care, and that's much more expensive than hospice.

"Patients in hospice care on average save Medicare 3,900 dollars per patient in the last two months of their life," said Wensel.

It will be a nice change to have a sound voice and an advocate for terminal patients weighing in on this bill.

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