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Alzheimer’s Disease: A Cost Benefit Analysis John Groat Michelle Theriault Topics in Political Theory: Death.

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Presentation on theme: "Alzheimer’s Disease: A Cost Benefit Analysis John Groat Michelle Theriault Topics in Political Theory: Death."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alzheimer’s Disease: A Cost Benefit Analysis John Groat Michelle Theriault Topics in Political Theory: Death

2 What is Alzheimer’s Disease? Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease n.jpg - Alzheimer’s brainhttp://www.cs.jmu.edu/common/projects/mtDNA/Alzheimer's%20Brai n.jpg

3 Thesis Basic controversy: should hopelessly ill patient’s like late stage Alzheimer’s patients receive rationed care? Alzheimer’s is a completely cost-ineffective disease to treat. It costs an average of 17,000$ a year to treat a demented elderly patient. In light of these facts, we must consider the question of how many financial and human resources should be allocated to Alzheimer’s care, and bring living end-of life directives/ physician assisted suicide into the care equation. This type of decision aims to save the dignity of the elderly, the burden of the family, and the over-taxes resources of the medical field. Many Alzheimer’s patients do not receive proper care and suffer from any number of forms of elder abuse because of the difficulty of supplying top- quality medical care in the nursing home environment. If we stopped over- taxing the system with late stage Alzheimer’s patients who have extremely low quality of life and no chance at recovery, resources could be re-distributed to other sectors of the medical field.

4 Brookstone facility Type of care offered at Brookstone Typical patients at Brookstone Michele Page, R.N. experiences

5 The controversy of Alzheimer’s /T/Alzheimers/http://www.alzheimersupport.com/library/showarticle.cfm/ID/1754/e/1 /T/Alzheimers/ Michele Page, R.N. perspective

6 Death with dignity/ P.A.S. Benefits and costs of assisted suicide as option for elderly and society

7 Conclusions As the healthcare system is increasingly taxed by Alzheimer’s sufferers, there will be a shortage of money and care at some point in the next twenty years. End-of-life directives are a positive step towards solving the health- care rationing dilemma of Alzheimer’s, but not a complete solution. As the baby-boomer generation ages, we will be confronted with either paying sizably to take care of the elderly, or accepting euthanasia. After our experiences at Brookstone Alzheimer’s Care Center, it has become clear that while not cost-effective to care for Alzheimer’s patients, it is not just or humane to euthanize the elderly simply because they are burdensome and do not fit our definitions of quality of life or contribution to society.

8 A little Alzheimer’s humor Ronald Reagan, Charlton Heston – prominent members of the Alzheimer’s community.


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