Experts discuss whether it is humane to subject frail patients to aggressive medical treatments.
Guests: Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Oncologist, Bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania; Ira Byock, M.D., Director Palliative Care Service, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Author of "The Best Care Possible". About a third of all Americans over 65 have had aggressive surgery during the last year of their life. Medicare has spent about $113 billion a year, or a quarter of its budget on people 65 and older. What the statistics aren't showing is the pain and suffering that many of these patients experience. Some physicians are now questioning whether it is humane to subject frail patients to aggressive treatments with medical technology that may not extend life.