The Cost of Hope

Amanda Bennet was the Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer when her husband died of a rare form of kidney cancer.  She decided to apply her reporting skills to learn everything she could about his illness and the treatment he received by tracking his lab and treatment reports and interviewing his many doctors, some of whom she had never met. 

Her book “The Cost of Hope” describes the course of his illness.  It illuminates:  (1) the complexity of the medical system, (2) how identical procedures done in different areas of the country can  cost vastly different amounts, (3) how her love for her husband blinded her to the inescapable conclusion that he was not going to recover, and (4) how the medical community colluded in allowing her to retain this belief. A shorter article was published and is available online.

Perhaps most jarring was her discovery that his six year illness cost an estimated $617,000.   In investigating what procedures he’d undergone, she had been under the impression that he had 15 cat scans during the course of his treatment only to find that medical bills indicated that he had 76!  She also learned that the last three days of his life cost over $14,000

It is clear that in a long illness, it can be challenging to keep up with all of the medical decisions being made and still remain aware of the overall circumstances.

Having Your Voice to the End of Your Life, a ten hour seminar can help you to address some of these issues.

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