End-of-life healthcare is expensive. The top 5% of end-of-life patients incur nearly half of the nation’s healthcare costs. So one of the objections some Americans raise to the idea of universal healthcare, is that we simply can’t afford to offer everyone that kind of care. The assumption is that if everyone has healthcare, everyone will want to be kept alive as long as possible.
Except that’s not true. It turns out that if you actually ask people what they would like in terms of end-of-life care before they are unconscious on a drip feed or in a coma, they say that no, they don’t want to be kept alive if they’re in a coma, they don’t want chemotherapy if it’s only going to keep them alive for another 3 months and will make them feel miserable, they don’t want an extra 6 months of life confined to bed and attached to tubing and machinery.