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.

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