Happens here. Every day. If a person is in assisted living and becomes too ill for that care level, legally they must be moved to more advanced care settings. If they live with their spouse often they are left behind because insurance won't pay for the more expensive care for the healthier spouse if they don't require it. Similarly, If I discharge someone from the hospital that requires skilled nursing or long term acute care or inpatient rehab and they refuse and they are unable to care for themselves at home, legally I must report it to adult protective services. Often they essentially become wards of the states and no longer can make decisions for themselves. Breaks my heart, but legally I have no other course of action.
I don't think this is any big revelation, but the system here is just as broken and nearly just as socialized (it just looks a little different on the surface). This story is getting a lot of publicity due to its proximity to Christmas, but it goes on every day, everywhere in the US.
I understand all that having seen people grow old and die. I understand the circle of life. The point is not that they were seperated. The point is that a little compassion would habe given them a couple more days to be together on Christmas.
I am not sure i want to live that long.
That's a damned shame. They're people, not warehoused goods.