Fribble Dying Is Expensive

By Wendy B
September 26, 2000

Bill Moyers, one of the most thoughtful journalists today, created a four-part series on alternative options for the dying, which was aired on public TV last week. (You can find out more about it by clicking on this link to PBS: On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying - Home.)

If you are fortunate enough to die suddenly -- at least, fortunate in comparison to dying over an extended period of time -- your only concern about death is preplanning to protect your assets from taxes and lawyers. However, a lengthy, ultimately fatal illness in anyone in your family (including yourself) is a complex and extremely expensive project. Millions die of cancer, congestive heart failure, emphysema, and diabetes. The financial impact is devastating.

As the population ages, the question of how to finance the dying process will need to be addressed in the governmental arena. Until that happens, anyone planning to retire must make sure that enough is left after life's expenses to pay for the expenses of the dying process. Excellent hospital, home nursing, and hospice care are available -- if you have adequate insurance coverage and plenty of money.

If you find yourself fatally ill without these essentials, you will wipe out your own and your family's resources, then be forced to accept whatever care is given to the indigent by society.