The case of Scott Crawford: The crushing cost of health care at the end of life

Hospital officials asked the Crawford’s their short- and long-term goals. “There is a consensus [Mr. Crawford] has an uphill battle,” team members concluded in the meeting, according to a summary. They told the parents the hospital had no plans to limit or withdraw care.

Wayne and Judy Crawford interpreted the meeting as a nudge to consider ceasing treatment because their son’s insurance had largely run out.

In an emotional response, they told the staff they didn’t want their son to suffer, and understood they may never take him home. At the same time, the Crawfords said they wanted everything possible done…

Dr. Shah says the meeting was prompted by concern for Mr. Crawford’s suffering and not insurance…

Johns Hopkins estimates Mr. Crawford’s claims for 2009 totaled $2.7 million, and that $766,919 remained unpaid. The total is higher than the number logged by Medicare, because the agency didn’t cover all Mr. Crawford’s costs.