In the USA, medical debts are the number one cause of bankruptcy, even for those with health insurance. Now, a new study shows a distinct correlation between ethnicity and willingness to spend all of ones funds for life-sustaining care after a cancer diagnosis.
The study interviewed more than 4,000 patients recently diagnosed with lung or colorectal cancer on an array of topics, including their willingness to completely expend their resources to prolong their life.
Of those surveyed, 80% of black, 72% of Asian, 69% of Hispanic and 54% of white patients were willing to spend everything they had in order to stay alive. Other factors that marked people as more willing to expend all their worldly assets? According to the researchers:
Younger age, a lower number of individuals that they financially supported, divorced/separated marital status, a belief that life expectancy is in God's hands, and a higher level of social support.
The study doesn't opine as to the sociological reasons for this difference, but according to the researchers it gels with the fact that minority patients tend to receive more aggressive end-of-life care.