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Just to be clear, the main culture identified with that practice hasn't done that since 1939, according to The Straight Dope and when it was done (rarely), it was almost always done in times of extreme famine when everyone was starving. Not that it makes it right, but the Inuit culture didn't practice killing their seniors just because they were old and getting to be a burden.

I think this issue might level out as boomers and their families have more and more experience with death and seeing what heroic efforts at the end of life looks like. I would bet that the numbers of people opting not to have such measures taken would balance out the ones that do want thousands spent for one more week.

In other words, the choices that people make about their own and their loved ones' end of life care may make this a non-issue as time goes on, or at least not as much of an issue as simple demographics suggest.

I'm curious, too, about the real effect of not having insurance cover an end of life discussion. If you're at the point of needing that discussion, it seems like you would be seeing your doctor fairly regularly and such a conversation would (or at least could) take place in the normal course of discussing treatment. So I'm wondering how much of a barrier it is, not to have "discuss end of life care" as a separate insurance code.

I wonder, if you polled doctors and asked them whether a specific payment (or lack thereof) for EOL consultation would change how they handle EOL care, what the response would be? I bet the ones who get the importance of EOL discussion are doing it anyway.

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