Monday, September 21, 2009

Death Panels: Can we Please be More Civil?

Sarah Palin’s coining of the term “death panels” stirred heated reactions from promulgators of the President’s healthcare proposals. However, what’s important about Palin’s term is not so much the actual wording, but the concept, something completely lost on the pro-Obamacare folks.

And the concept is very real.

Here’s why: We have finite medical resources so we have to make decisions about how those resources should be allocated. We either provide those resources to all people who need them, meaning that we’ll run out of resources before we’ve helped everyone, or we will need to decide who gets the resources and who doesn’t.

So, the question becomes: Who will make the decision? For ObamaCare, there’s absolutely no doubt that it will be a government entity if healthcare, or big chunks of it, becomes a government enterprise. Increasingly, doctors will be told what treatments they will be able to prescribe because the government will control all or most healthcare resources.

And what doctors will be told will be according to cold statistics. Some people will be worth the resources, others will not, plain and simple. The government will decide whether you are worth the treatment or whether others would benefit from the treatment more than you.

If others would benefit more than you (younger, healthier, more years of life than fewer), you lose.

Think this is far-fetched? It’s already in place, signed into law last February. The entity, grandly and chillingly Orwellian, is the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research Membership.

What will this fine entity do? I quote from the official Obama Administration website.

What the Government says:

Authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the new Council will help coordinate research and guide investments in comparative effectiveness research funded by the Recovery Act.

What the Government means: The government will determine, via “research” what is effective and what is not. Guess what? It’s not very effective to provide a hip replacement for a 100-year old woman, as the President has already admitted.

What the Government says:

Comparative effectiveness research can improve care for all Americans and is an important element of President Obama’s health reform plan,” said HHS Spokeswoman Jenny Backus.

What the Government means: “Improving care” will also include things already defined as medical “care,” like withdrawing food and water from severely disabled patients. See, in this twisted world, starving and dehydrating people to death is consider “care.”

What the Government says:

Comparative effectiveness research provides information on the relative strengths and weakness of various medical interventions. Such research will give clinicians and patient’s valid information to make decisions that will improve the performance of the U.S. health care system.

What the Government means: A medical intervention will be strong when given to someone who will get healthier and who has potential for many years of productive life. That same medical intervention will be considered weak for people who may not get healthier and who perhaps don’t have many years of their life still to live.

Long story short (see Ezekiel Emanuel, who’s a member of this Government entity), the lion’s share of treatment will go to those between mid-late adolescence and 40 year-olds, because these are the people most likely to be able to have “a good quality if life” after treatment.

So, in the interests of Government propaganda, I’ll reinvent the term “death panels” which seems to be so offensive to the pro-Obamacare crowd.

Instead of “death panels” let’s call them Research-Based Investments for Healthier Living.

That way, the Government will send many to their deaths without the pro-ObamaCare apparatchiks getting too offended.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

President Obama’s Pro-Death Propaganda Machine: I’m Not Impressed

Several weeks ago, when a White House website overtly called for turning people in if they had “fishy” ideas about what the President was proposing about healthcare (read: your disagreement will be noted, officially, by the government) I spent a lot of energy restraining myself from blogging here to say something like this:

Mr. President: Given that Disability Matters is all over the web, one of your sycophants may well have turned me in for my “fishy” ideas.

If not, I’m here to tell you that I admit, confess, and am willing to sign a public confession (to be released to state media, of course, and where I will stipulate that I was not coerced) that I have “fishy” ideas about your healthcare proposals. Ahead of the signed confession, I have publically so confessed, and I consider it a badge of honor that as of this notification, I am on your government “Fishy List.”

Knocks on the door in the dead of night are half expected.

Bring it on.

Here’s why, Mr. President. I grew up as a privileged white person in apartheid South Africa. I was raised as an English-speaking minority within the white minority. I was raised in the understanding that apartheid was evil, but that there really wasn’t much that could be done, on an individual level, to change it.

As a college student, I disagreed.

I spoke up.

It cost me.

The apartheid regime’s security police followed me for years. They rode by and took my photo. They opened my mail. Thugs all. Somewhere in the dusty vaults of the previous South African regime there is a fat folder with this label: “Mostert, Mark P., Fishy Ideas.”

So, Mr. President, I understand propaganda and state coercion. I believe we have seen it in the healthcare debate.

We’ve seen it in the just-reported coercion of the National Endowment for the Arts commandeered to strong-arm the arts for your healthcare agenda.

And, Mr. President, be aware that there are many of us, the Fishy Family, who understand that in the House bill, H.R. 3200 the forces of death, aka the former Hemlock Society, and (no aka) some members of Congress who never saw an assisted suicide they didn’t like, are preening and chattering about how they helped write the parts of the bill endorsing killing, and, dare I say (gasp) death panels.

I understand in this new season of change and hope that the change is a shadowy pro-death process whose authors cannot contain their glee at what they might accomplish.

And that hope, Mr. President, leans precariously toward the chilling idea that our most vulnerable, our elderly, sick, veterans, and disabled, will be disposed of because, after all, (as the former Hemlock Society, and members of your party in Congress would say) they don’t have a good quality of life.

The Government giveth. The Government taketh away.