Excess Deaths

Purple

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Ireland had one of the lowest rates of excess deaths in the world during Covid19, with 1,170 more people dying during the period of the pandemic than would have usually died during the same period. In other words statistically of the 5,910 who died with Covid only 1,170 died of Covid.
Our death rate per infection was 10 times lower than the UK, despite having as least as comprehensive a testing infrastructure.

So well done to the Government, they got it very right.
 

Clamball

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I know they said at the start of the pandemic that it is excess deaths that will show the true impact of the pandemic, but is it a bit too early to truly see the impact? Surely they predict more deaths due to late cancer/heart diagnosis than normal, not to mind the mental health toll? It will be harder to enumerate these but it could be another 10 years before it can be calculated.

I think the report reflects the crude understanding by some countries that the people who died would have died within 12 months in any event due to old age, underlying health issues etc. and so should not be an issue. It is the way it was expressed rather than lack of understanding that was the issue. but it lead to very poor headlines for some countries. I think Mike Ryan of the WHO called it lack of intergenerational solidarity. Colm Henry of NEPHT spoke often about protection of the elderly and the most vulnerable in society, which I think reflected the Irish view.

So it is good to see that Ireland fared well so far.
 

Purple

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I think the report reflects the crude understanding by some countries that the people who died would have died within 12 months in any event due to old age, underlying health issues etc. and so should not be an issue. It is the way it was expressed rather than lack of understanding that was the issue. but it lead to very poor headlines for some countries. I think Mike Ryan of the WHO called it lack of intergenerational solidarity. Colm Henry of NEPHT spoke often about protection of the elderly and the most vulnerable in society, which I think reflected the Irish view.
I agree with you but when allocating resources within a health service, and within a society, it is fair and reasonable to place more value on the life of a child than an already sick elderly person. The first person I heard express that view was my elderly mother, who has a long list of underlying conditions.
 

tomdublin

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it is fair and reasonable to place more value on the life of a child than an already sick elderly person.
I'd be worried about letting the government or anyone else decide which kind of life has more or less "value."
 

Purple

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I'd be worried about letting the government or anyone else decide which kind of life has more or less "value."
Really? It happens every day.
Doctors decide who gets the organ transplant (it's nearly always the younger person). The Government decides if funding is made available for expensive drugs instead of other healthcare spending.

A great example is cancer screening. More men get Prostate cancer than women get Breast cancer but we spend far more on Breast cancer screening. That's because women get Breast cancer much younger than men get Prostate cancer. It's absolutely the correct policy (my father has prostate cancer so I'm aware of the ramifications of that decision).

We don't have infinite resources so these decisions are made all the time and, correctly, younger people get priority over the elderly in short term healthcare decisions.
It's the only area of government spending, in healthcare or anywhere else, where the elderly don't come first, so they shouldn't complain.
 

tomdublin

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That's because women get Breast cancer much younger than men get Prostate cancer.
I think the main reason is that there is much more lobbying for research and treatment for specifically female as opposed to specifically male illnesses. Women are also generally more aware of their health compared to men, which also helps explain their higher average life expectancy. You are correct about the young often getting preference over the old in treatment decisions but I'm still uneasy with it. Age seems to me a very blunt instrument when assessing someone's "value." Is a 20 year old gangster really more "valuable" than a 60 year old nurse?
 

Leo

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Age seems to me a very blunt instrument when assessing someone's "value." Is a 20 year old gangster really more "valuable" than a 60 year old nurse?
The challenge there is what system do you use to guide medical professionals on who is good or bad? The scoring would need to be publicly available to be of use. Judging people on looks will see you mistreat many innocents from less privileged backgrounds and prioritise wealthy criminals over more deserving cases.

Unless we try something like the Chinese Social Credit system where every little thing a person does can shift their score and publish that for all to see, it's best stick with the current system where they assume everyone is good and leave the judicial system get on with administering justice.
 

Purple

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I think the main reason is that there is much more lobbying for research and treatment for specifically female as opposed to specifically male illnesses. Women are also generally more aware of their health compared to men, which also helps explain their higher average life expectancy.
No, the main reason is that, in the vast majority of cases, breast cancer kills younger women and prostate cancer kills old men.
You are correct about the young often getting preference over the old in treatment decisions
Only in relation to short term, immediate things. In general terms the elderly are strongly prioritised over the young when it comes to government spending.
 
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