My experience with modern western medicine has taught me that we are not as a society interested at all in healthcare. We are much more interested in monetizing and managing sickness.
While working at BMS, I attended and presented to a forum of technology leaders and architects at a local technology forum for internal teams. I was extremely excited to be part of an organization which purportedly had an interest in saving lives and curing diseases.
I started my talk with the mission statement, I made a point to know it by heart and I still know it today. I went on to talk about how cancer and illness touched my life personally and how I sought to tie the work my team was doing with the end goal of curing the disease.
My comments were publicly well received and even the senior leadership team pulled me aside to tell me they were happy I was there. I traveled back to my office and parked myself in my normal spot in our open workspace. One of my peers approached me and asked to speak with me for a moment. She had been with BMS at this point for over 40 years. She looked at me and said, “I heard about your presentation, and I’d like to share something with you.” The moment lasted an exceptionally long time where she paused and took a breath. She said, “We don’t cure cancer or diseases, we extend life and Howie, you need to know there is a difference.” If I reflect on my time at BMS as to what was the most meaningful and powerful moment, it was that one.
The reality is that regardless of the reasons individuals get into medicine, they become absorbed into the body of malfeasance. The work they meant to do is mostly altered into a facade. It doesn’t matter if it is pharmaceuticals or any other medically oriented responsive practice. The key here is that most medicine is responsive, meaning someone becomes ill and there is a response or reactive medical approach.
You know all this right? One thing I have thought of recently through close family members being victimized by the hospital system practice and nursing homes is that we need to increase the value in immediate death.
We don’t spend enough energy, money and time on wellness or preventive care. People buy gym memberships and drink poison water from their treadmills. At some point, we must acknowledge that we don’t want to be healthy as a society. It may turn around in the future but we practice Medical “Don’tcare” (gimmie the money).
In the context of medicine, we are distracted by lies that are so deep into our normal daily lives that we don’t even think twice about them. For example, why do we need insurance? If medicine were right sized in pricing, we could pay for the care we need. Some would argue about the costs associated with being extremely sick. How could people afford it if they don’t have insurance? Whether or not we want to acknowledge this fact, the government is already paying out on these bills. The only difference is there are opportunistic brokers in between that are making money.
The point is the system is designed for one reason alone and that reason is to make money. This is not an Amercian problem, it is a global endemic issue. Our behavior is a disease. We don’t choose life; we choose artificial extension.
Everyone has their own experience with medicine, I don’t have to prove a point here.
If we can agree that our smoothies are full of no sugar chemical sweeteners that cause death or that we can still purchase many items that when consumed cause a “slow death”, I ask why we can’t just do the same for immediate death?
If we are ok with killing ourselves over time and creating miserable, expensive, and complicated tragic situations, why can’t we just create the machine from Logan’s Run?
I am not suggesting that at 21 or 30 that we walk into a death ray, but we really need to start talking about dying with dignity in a way that makes practical sense. Our world has a propensity to favor death and suffering vs living in peace and harmony. This is an irrefutable fact, and it is also a fact that we don’t have enough controls on our medical system to protect the innocent.
In my lifetime, I haven’t seen any indication that we are moving towards any medical breakthroughs with great efficacy to be allowed for public consumption. Make the “death ray” a multibillion-dollar industry and stand out of the way when it’s “zapping time” say your goodbyes and float into the ether as carbon dust.
On behalf of my family, I’d like to personally thank the medical staff at Northwell https://nwh.northwell.edu/ in Westchester NY and the wonderfully destructive and uncaring staff https://martine-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org/ who decided that food and water is not necessary for life.
If anyone were to get the benefit of using a “death ray” and making millions from it, I am confident that they’d be all in on swimming in the beautiful waters of blood money.
4 Replies to “Death Machine – Death Care”
Howie your associate at BMS gave you good insight into where much effort is spent on prolonging life instead of curing diseases. I suppose that curing diseases is also prolonging life if you think of it that way but I think your awareness was more about dignity in living and dying rather than just quality or quantity of life. We will all eventually die but acceptance of that affect usually doesn’t come into view until the words “terminal” comes into play.
I think that death can only be accepted when we know we put up a good fight. A good fight for others to live with justice and peace. Since love (unconditional love) can only be obtained by sacrifice we must look at our deaths in this way…we die for others to live… not just here and now but for eternity. Facing eternity is the bridge we Passover to get to the other side.
Not to downplay the human aspect, but this is just another example of bad metrics driving bad behavior.
I recently had some conversations with a driver from a large delivery service and they had shared with me that over the past few years, they stopped looking at successful deliveries as a metric because they were too dependent on things that were out of the drivers’ control. Similarly, most drivers had minimal contact with the customers during COVID, so CustSAT was also pushed to the side as a minor component. Instead, they grabbed a metric that was easy to measure; Completing your route on schedule. That became the most important metric and the time allotted kept getting reduced as algorithms decided that the drivers could do better.
The response was pretty predictable, but highlighted the creativity of the drivers. Since successful delivery wasn’t a big factor and humans slowed everything down, drivers would literally complete “Sorry we missed you” tags in the truck, run to the door and not even attempt any signed deliveries if they were running late. There were even some fairly high profile news stories of drivers dumping deliveries in the garbage, ravines or at the side of the road. They’d complete that route on time with no packages in the truck, so… “job done”. Delivery rates plummeted, but they knocked that on-time route completion metric out of the park.
How is this relevant to health care? Well, if your metric is profitability, the most expensive treatment option is going to beat out the best option (to be fair, they may be the same. But companies are fighting to get you to use their treatments and protocols, not step aside and let a competitor take their money). Long drawn-out palliative care is going to beat out hospice, regardless of the quality of life. If you make death-rays more profitable, suicide booths with high-limit credit card readers are going to become the new norm.
If we truly believe that health and medical treatment are human rights, we need to get profit out of the equation and change the metrics throughout the whole supply chain. I have no problem with staff and doctors being well compensated, but this crazy pyramid scheme that we refer to as a health care system needs a hard reset. Insurers made record profits while hospitals were supposedly struggling. (though billions in profits would be a good example of “relatively speaking”). Even with obscene and unjustifiable amounts of money on the table “legally”, we have record fraud and abuse with providers gouging patients and HMOs.
We literally have an entire market segment that profits off of human suffering and hardship. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that. We should seriously consider external cost auditing and oversight and capping the profits of these organizations. I guarantee when the metric shifts from profitability back to something fundamentally care-related, we’ll see a change in behaviors.
Human nature is objectively selfish and that will be the inevitable downfall of humanity. Nobody cares about anyone but themselves and those especially close to them.
Painful point and difficult to rationalize today.