For Doctors, Rationing Care Is Standard Practice – Washington Post

Published: August 04, 2009

A seasoned pulmonologist shakes his head. “Let’s face it, we already ration care.” And, pausing ever so slightly, he begins his story. “This family of an 80-year-old gentleman came to me a few days after he was admitted into the ICU. He had end-stage emphysema. ‘We had a family conference last night,’ they told me, ‘and we have decided that we want our father to have a lung transplant.’ ” The doctor shakes his head again. “They were dead serious,” he says. “I took them aside and tried to explain the situation: He is 80 years old and a smoker. He can’t get a lung transplant.” Read More