Is it actually becoming possible to predict the likelihood of death in elderly patients? Medicine and technology have come a long way, but this article discusses a new assessment tool in which the practitioner answers questions to determine their patient’s risk of death in one year. The risk is determined from the score that the patient receives on the assessment. The percent of mortality increases as the number of points increases. This article confused me in that they say that doctors have no easy way to know if elderly patients will survive long enough to react to the interventions given. At the same time, putting in the patient’s age, health conditions, and functional ability, to me, doesn’t predict a patient’s mortality. You don’t know how someone will respond to treatment; it is difficult to predict medicine like that. And what do these numbers mean? For the physician, does the higher percentage of mortality mean less treatment that patient receives, or changes their prior treatment plan? And what about the Hippocratic Oath? “…apply for the benefit of the sick, all measures that are required…there is an art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.” There are consequences that go along with this. First, these assessments are available to the public. It may cause unnecessary concern to families who do not have the proper knowledge of what to do with the given results. Along the lines of medicine being unpredictable, theses assessment results may very well be incorrect and the patient may pass earlier than expected. Although I do see the benefits of it (having more information), it is important for the public, as well as physicians, to be aware that some of the assessment are better than others.

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