There are some gut-wrenching decisions that need to be made about when to let the inevitable take its course. I do believe this is best left to the patient and their families. I do think that it is to be expected (and okay) that the majority of health care spending is at the end of one's life. Those who choose to battle on against odds do benefit society by providing subjects for the experimental. They are the pioneers whose treatment may one day lead to either a cure or successful management of the disease. Perhaps not for themselves, but for those on down the line.
I think that this article was also an indictment of the US healthcare system. The overhead and markup is horrendous. The system engineer in me dislikes inefficiency and believes strongly in process improvement. I think we can and should do better for all of us. The challenge is obviously that there are too many constituencies and stakeholders that are unwilling to work together toward a common good as they profit mightily from the status quo. They spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt when anyone tries to change the current system. This article illustrates again to me that medical care is not market driven service, so a market-based approach to health care delivery might not be effective.