How will the public health system cope with serving the elderly who contract the Corona Virus?

Many people now have a confirmed case of Coronavirus. A few have mild symptoms, while others have been hospitalized and are suffering from severe breathing problems. They have been on a ventilator life support in some cases. Till now, there have been 36 deaths in the US from Coronavirus.

With Coronavirus spread being the first and in its preliminary stages, testing supplies across the US are limited. There is a lot to be learned from countries such as China wherein tens of thousands of Coronavirus cases have appeared.

Mortality rates among patients affected by Coronavirus in China hover in between 2.3% and 4%. Global mortality rates stay in the line of 3.45% while in South Korea; the figure is at 1%.

In the US, Coronavirus mortality rates vary by the age group and the trend stays the same in other countries. If we consider the case of China, Coronavirus mortality rates for those between the ages of 70 to 79 was 8%. For the ones above 80, mortality rates have been 15%.

Coronavirus is a contagious condition. In nursing homes, maintaining a clean environment and good infection control is hence very important.

Certain settings, such as two residents who share a single bathroom and have living spaces separated by a curtain bring in difficulties in terms of infection prevention. Another matter which has become a cause of concern is that visitors may unintentionally add to the risk of the spread of infection.

Caution plays a role in preventing the spread of Coronavirus. If you have a loved one at a long term care facility, then to safeguard them against the spread of the disease, one should undertake the following steps.

Disinfect your hands, and if you go visit the patient with children, make sure that they disinfect their hands as well. Delay the visit if you have any respiratory conditions, even a mild cold. Dimocks Family Lawyers Company makes a preferred aide for you and specializes in matters pertaining to family law and surrogacy.


Veterans in the United States – how well do we take care of our soldiers?

On the Veteran’s day, Americans gather in towns and cities to thank the present and past veterans. Veterans’ issues have more scope and complexity associated with them, than American civilians are likely to ever experience. Veteran’s benefits can broadly be subdivided into three categories – health care, economic aid, and crisis support.

Health care

As per the law, 21 million of American veterans are eligible for VA healthcare. Nine million have enrolled for the same, and over seven million have used the system in 2016. This came at a cost of US$ 63 billion. The care encompasses illnesses and injuries sustained at war, and also cover the medical needs that may arise at any point of time. In order to accomplish the same, VA runs 800 clinics, 144 hospitals and 300 mental health Vet centers. Veterans face difficulty in accessing the care due to a complex bureaucracy. Finding care in a timely and convenient way is difficult. Federal spending over VA is nevertheless now more than any time earlier in history.

Benefits of service

Federal governments have started an array of economic support programs for veterans. The modern among these include small-business loans for veterans and granting preference to them for getting government contracts. Disability benefits stood in line of US$ 77 billion for 5 million veterans in 2016. Education and training programs were at US$ 14 billion. But the veterans benefited from the same were only 1 million in number. VA also provides home loans and life insurance. Despite the friction involved, the programs help veterans make a transition to civilian life. They bought veteran unemployment rates in the same lines as national unemployment rates in 2016.

Crisis support

Crisis support encompasses programs for legal problems, addiction and homelessness. The problem is quintessentially acute. Federal agencies, including VA render support amounting to billions of dollars to veterans who live on the margins of the society. Social safety net is larger, as compared to the one for nonveterans. From 2009 to 2017, VA invested US$ 65 billion over mental health treatment and housing for veterans. Homeless veterans reduced 73,400 in 2007 to 39,500 in 2016. The number must ideally stand at zero.

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The right to die: the history of the law to allow sufferers to end their lives

Across the United States and a number of other countries, euthanasia has been a topic of debate right through 1800s and has given rise to varied arguments.

The first anti-euthanasia was passed in the United States in 1828, in the state of New York. Other states, thereafter, followed suit.

In 20th century, Ezekiel Emmanual stated that availability of anesthesia has bought in a new era of euthanasia. He was a bioethicist at American National Institute of Health (NIH).

A euthanasia society was set up in the United States in 1938 with the intention of lobbying for assisted suicide.

Physician assisted suicide was legalized in Switzerland in 1937. This was while the doctor had nothing to gain from the patient’s death.

In 1960s, the right to die approach towards euthanasia found advocacy.

In the United States, formal ethics committees are now a part of hospitals and nursing homes. Living wills and advance health directives are similarly commonplace across the world. In 1977, they were legalized in California, United States. Other states followed suit soon thereafter.

A living will allows a person defines his desire for access to medical care. It is used in case they are unable to express their wishes at a later point of time.

Non-active Euthanasia was approved in 1990 by the Supreme Court.

Death with Dignity Act was approved by voters in Oregon in 1994. It allowed physicians to assist terminal patients, if they were not expected to survive for over 6 months.

Similar laws were adapted by U.S Supreme Court in 1997. Non active euthanasia was legalized by Texas in 1999.

Terri Schiavo case is notable in this regard, and built up public opinion in Florida and across the United States. Schiavo had a cardiac arrest in 1990. She stayed in a vegetative state for 15 years. Then her husband’s request to let her pass was approved.

A number of court hearings, petitions, motions, appeals and decisions were involved with the case while it lasted. U.S Congress, Florida legislation and President Bush, all played a role.

In 2008, Death with Dignity Act was chosen by 57.91% voters in Washington DC. It became a law in 2009.

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What kind of care is available to the terminally ill?

The support for individuals in the last years or months of their life is end of life care. It is intended towards allowing an individual to live well in the best possible way, and expire with dignity.

Correspondingly, the providers of end of life care must ask the individual about his preferences and wishes. These factors must be taken into account as the end of life care for the individual is planned. Alternately, the care providers must support the individual’s family and carers.

The recipient of the care has the right to convey his wishes regarding the location where he would like to receive care, or the location where he intends to expire. A few of the choices available include at home, hospices, care homes or hospitals. One can then choose among the alternatives depending upon one’s preferences and requirements.

An individual who is approaching the end of life deserves to access quality end of life care. This is irrespective of the factor for which they are accessing the care.

Providers of end of life care

End of life care is likely to involve varied healthcare and social care professionals. This is subject to the recipient’s requirements. Just as an example, the team may involve hospital nurses or doctors, the recipient’s GP, hospice staff, community nurses and counsellors. This may include social care staff as well.

In some cases, complementary therapists and physiotherapists are involved as well.

In case one is being taken care of at a care home or home, his GP takes the overall responsibility of the care provided. While family and friends are actively involved with providing care, community nurses make visits to the patient.

Palliative care

Palliative care is a part of end of life care. For an illness that cannot be cured, palliative care renders comfort. It helps manage all distressing symptoms including pain.

Alternately palliative care renders support at a social, psychological and spiritual level for the family members of the patient. The approach is holistic. It deals with the individual, and works beyond his health condition.

Palliative care goes beyond being end of life care. A patient can avail it at an earlier stage of his illness. This is while one receives the additional therapies for healing his condition.

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God and Death – What happens to an atheist as they approach the end?

Do we have atheists in foxholes? It is not just a point to ponder but a question that has arisen time and again.  At a time as intricate as the deathbed, even non-believers turn to God.

The thoughts at the time of death are in general a frequent topic of research under experimental psychology. It helps us derive the conclusion as to whether our lives are actually based upon our belief system. It lets us define the extent to which our belief system renders an influence over our lives.

But in the case of atheists, it may actually be difficult to determine what they actually feel on the deathbed. Is it something apart from religious faith, or do they turn to God as well?

A few of the researchers have the opinion that atheists do turn to God on their deathbed, but that might be the only time wherein their faith is reaffirmed. 

Religion does offer a range of psychological comforts, but they do not stand to be a universal necessity. Researchers nevertheless frequently derive the conclusion that death makes the believers more religious.

Among the functionalities of religion is to safeguard an individual against the anxieties that accompany death. The believer is led to believe that death is merely the end of earthly mortality. Thoughts related to mortality hence enhance the devotion to a greater extent.

Conscious and unconscious beliefs of an individual who is an atheist may stay disconnect on deathbed. A non-believer may counter the thoughts of inevitable by strengthening his view of the world. They frequently harbor the view that denies the existence of supernatural entities.

There are numerous cases wherein thoughts of mortality turn the focus of non-believer towards God. Similarly, the belief of believers strengthens with such thoughts.

A distinction must also be made amongst atheists and agonists. They react to reminders of mortality in different ways. There are cases wherein an agonist does not turn to a higher power, even upon thoughts related to reminders of mortality. They instead lay their focus towards a secular cause, which allows them to live on after they are gone.

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