“The cost of dying: It’s hard to reject care even as costs soar” (SJMN)

San Jose Mercury News author Lisa Krieger has started a wonderful series of articles on “the cost of dying.”  In this initial poignant article, she shares the sad story of her father in the ER and then in the ICU.

Here’s a link to the article:


The cost of dying: It’s hard to reject care even as costs soar
By Lisa M. Krieger
San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   02/05/2012 08:14:05 AM PST

I encourage everyone to read it so that you can learn from Ms. Krieger’s story.  Many of the comments posted are worth reading as well.

At the end of the article, she writes:

“Modern medicine had carried Dad’s body beyond what it could bear. Even the best life is finite.”

In my humble opinion, these were the points in the story where things could have improved:

  • Ms. Krieger could’ve discussed the DNR (do not resuscitate) order with her father early on.  She could have learned if he wanted to have a DNI (do not intubate) order as well.
  • Did she not have her father’s advance care directive? His POLST would have indicated if he wanted to be intubated.
  • Why wasn’t her father placed on hospice right after his fall?
  • Why didn’t Ms. Krieger have the DPOA and DNR documents with her at the hospital?  Or the advance care directive or POLST?

Please have the “advance care” discussions NOW with all of your family members!