On Wednesdays I have lunch with the boys and we solve the world's problems over barbecue. Today, despite the distracting hullabaloo over the new Russian edition of Virus of the Mind, we solved the sticky problem of the "Death Panel":: who decides when to pull the plug on a terminal patient? Studies show that 27% of Medicare dollars are used in the last year of life. At some point, someone has to decide how much to spend on expensive treatment and maintenance at the end of life. Fearmongers in Congress have referred to this necessary evil as a "death panel."
Who will be on these death panels? What criteria will they use? Will some people be considered more worthy than others? These are really tough questions. We decided it's much more civilized to have the patient decide. And we have the perfect model for the decision-making process on TV every week: Deal or No Deal.
The insurance company has actuarial tables that will tell them, on average, how much it will cost to do everything medically possible to prolong the patient's life. So all they have to do is offer a fraction of that to the patient, to pass on to the family, in exchange for pulling the plug. $275,000: Deal or no deal?
What would you decide?