Socialized Medicine: Handing Out Premature Death Sentences

No, this is not a scare-tactic. It is a bonafide news item from the Daily Telegraph over in the United Kingdom.

From Kate Devlin:

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

I’ve actually seen this done in the United States. My family requested that my father be kept sedated until he passed. But we already knew that there was no hope for his recovery and we wanted to make sure that he did not become conscious or feel any pain.

That isn’t always the case over in Britain.

Read on:

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

There is a major difference in a family making a decision and a doctor following a government guideline that was hammered out by bureaucrats who had never been to medical school or even knew the first thing about any particular patient.

Here is the real kicker:

“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients.”

When the government pays the bills, the government makes the decisions. That is what makes socialized medicine so unpalatable to Americans. We want as little government as possible in our lives. Dems and libs seem to have a great deal of difficulty understanding that.

But, even more importantly, it highlights the “end-of-life” concerns that people like Sarah Palin and others have expressed over the past few months:

The scheme, called the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), was designed to reduce patient suffering in their final hours.

Developed by Marie Curie, the cancer charity, in a Liverpool hospice it was initially developed for cancer patients but now includes other life threatening conditions.

It was recommended as a model by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), the Government’s health scrutiny body, in 2004.

It has been gradually adopted nationwide and more than 300 hospitals, 130 hospices and 560 care homes in England currently use the system.

But there are major pitfalls in determining whether a patient is actually entering their final hours. Medications can cause unresponsiveness or unconsciousness. Dehydration can lead to symptoms completely unrelated to the patient’s primary ailment.

Further, poor care can lead to other conditions that can be mistaken for signs of impending death.

As a result, many people are put on the Pathway prematurely.

Just another wonderful contribution to medical care from the practitioners of socialized medicine.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Sentenced To Death On The NHS
Kate Devlin
Daily Telegraph
September 2, 2009

The Audacity Of Arrogantly Proclaiming A Partnership With God

You know, if a Republican or a Conservative Christian ever made a remark like Obama made yesterday, it would be a front-page news story for two-weeks while every major leftist news outlet in the nation would repeat it as a “macaca” moment. But for reasons that the average rational American is already keenly aware of, the press is giving Obama a pass on this one.

Here is what he said while addressing about 1000 Jewish Rabbis during a conference call:

In a morning conference call with about 1000 rabbis from across the nation, Obama asked for aid: “I am going to need your help in accomplishing necessary reform,” the President told the group, according to Rabbi Jack Moline, who tweeted his way through the phoner.

“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death,” Obama went on to say.

I am not aware of any other President in the history of the United States of America who ever had the arrogance or the impudence to elevate himself to the same level as Almighty God the Father.

But this quote also validates what Gov. Sarah Palin said when she expressed her concerns that Obamacare would result in “death panels” that would stand in judgement of her parents or her Special Needs son, Trig. If man were to elevate himself to the level of God, man would then have the power to arbitrarily decide life and death. History has shown (as recently as Nazi Germany) that man should not assume such power.

As I said, if a Conservative ever made a comment like this, Old Media would do everything in its power to crucify the person making it. But, because Obama is a leftist/Socialist and Old Media usually plays cheerleader for him, you will read almost nothing about it in major newspapers or even mentioned on network broadcast news shows.

You can access the original article on-line here:

‘God’s Partners In Matters Of Life And Death’
Adam Kredo
Washington Jewish Week
August 19, 2009

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel Tries To Tap-Dance His Way Out Of His Own Writings

Jake Tapper isn’t a hard-core leftist, but he is easily manipulated by the left. Tapper looks at the responses that Dr. Emanuel gives for the recent criticism of his writings about rationing of health care and the “complete lives” philosophy for determining who gets what health care and how much.

According to Tapper at ABC News:

One of the passages written by Emanuel and used as evidence by Palin and others that he would favor withholding medical care from those who aren’t productive members of society include a 1996 contribution to the Hastings Center Report, in which he said that under the “civic republican or deliberative democratic” construct, “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia. A less obvious example is guaranteeing neuropsychological services to ensure children with learning disabilities can read and learn to reason.”

Is he saying, as Palin and others have suggested, that those who aren’t “participating citizens” should have no guarantee to health care?

“No,” Emanuel says, “and I think I made it pretty clear I wasn’t endorsing that view, I was analyzing that perspective and what it might mean in practical terms. The rest of the text around that quote made it made it pretty clear I was trying to analyze it and understand it, not endorse it.”

But, from the text of Where Civic Republicanism And Deliberative Democracy Meet as published in a 1996 Hastings Center Report, we see the following:

Thus, it seems there is a growing agreement between liberals, communitarians, and others that many political matters, including matters of justice- and specifically, the just allocation of health care resources–can be addressed only by invoking a particular conception of the good.

Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity-those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations-are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.

Nowhere did Dr. Emanuel say that his thinking was hypothetical. This last paragraph excerpt made it pretty clear what his stance on the issue is. His conception of “the good” is policies that “ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations-are to be socially guaranteed as basic.” In layman’s terms, that means that only those who are deemed “productive” should be getting medical coverage.

Tapper goes on to present another misleading explanation of the January 31, 2009 article published in The Lancet that Dr. Emanuel co-authored:

The oncologist suggests that his words are being twisted because opponents “don’t have a solution” to the health care reform debate. “Maybe the only tactic is to sow fear and use whatever means you have to attack whether that’s grounded in reality or not… If you don’t have good arguments you use whatever you got, I guess, to say things that are distortive and untrue.”

He says “there have been previous attempts to come after me and after some of my colleagues, but this is certainly on a completely different scale and magnitude. I’ve never been mentioned on Sunday shows in this light and certainly never on the floor of Congress. The distortions are much larger than I’ve ever seen or would have believed could happen.”

But, let’s see what he wrote in that article and whether or not it jibes with his current claims:

When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.

Strict youngest-first allocation directs scarce resources predominantly to infants. This approach seems incorrect.

No twisting there at all. Dr. Emanuel is clear and unambiguous as to what he believes. And the following graph shows where he believes resources should be rationed:

(Source: Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions; Govind Persad, Alan Wertheimer, Ezekiel J Emanuel; The Lancet, January 31, 2009)

You can clearly see where Dr. Emanuel believes that the very young and the very old should fall in the priority curve. We can assume that such low priorities will also be held for Special Needs patients as well.

You can cross reference this with Sections 1162 and 1177 of HR3200. The parallels are undeniable.

When Gov. Palin voiced her concerns about Trig and her parents being denied medical care based on their “productivity,” she was very justified.

Conculsion: Dr. Emanuel can spin and tap-dance all he wants. But he cannot run and hide from what he has written and published. And we should not allow him to even try.

People work hard their entire lives to ensure that their families are taken care of and to ensure that they themselves are taken care of in their twilight years. HR3200 would only serve to undo all that work and allow the government to come in and change the plans that people had made for themselves years before.

Is Sarah Palin At Least Close To Being Right About “Death Panels?”

In order to answer that question, we need to look into HR3200 and analyze what is written in the relevent sections that may pertain to Special Needs patients or the elderly and how those sections may be used to deny care to members of those groups.

Sec. 1177 on page 354 of HR3200 (America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009). The title reads: “EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY OF SPECIAL NEEDS PLANS TO RESTRICT ENROLLMENT.” That section essentially makes it legal to turn away patients like Trig Palin.

Sec. 1162 of HR3200, under which on page 335 the government will be empowered to approve treatments that are established by “outcome-based measures.” This loop-hole will be used to deny care to elderly and Special Needs patients as some of the measures considered will include “patient mortality and morbidity following surgery” and “health functioning (limitations of activities of daily living).”

Sec. 1123 that begins on page 424 of HR3200. Under that section on page 430 is written:

The level of treatment indicated under subparagraph (A)(ii) may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all or specified interventions. Such indicated levels of treatment may include indications respecting, among other items—

(i) the intensity of medical intervention if the patient is pulse less, apneic, or has serious cardiac or pulmonary problems;
(ii) the individual’s desire regarding transfer to a hospital or remaining at the current care setting;
(iii) the use of antibiotics; and
(iv) the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.

Although the above references subparagraph (A)(ii), subparagraph (A)(i) essentially gives the government control over any medical orders relating to the covered individual.

From what I’ve read of HR3200, Gov. Palin is closer to getting it right than any of her detractors are. In fact, I have yet to see any of her detractors actually reference anything in HR3200 to prove her wrong about the government possibly denying care to the elderly and Special Needs patients.

You can access HR3200 on-line here:

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

Media Treatment Of Sarah Palin: Where In Her Quote Did She Say “Could Kill My Down Syndrome Baby?”

Leftists never cease to amaze me with their blind alligiance to anyone who comes out with a leftist screed, even if such screed is proven to be a lie.

All over the Internet, you read about idiots repeating, like trained parrots, the same lie over and over. Somewhere, someone twisted the facts and claimed that Sarah Palin said that Obama’s “death panels” could kill her Down Syndrome baby.

Well, let’s test that claim by comparing it with the actual statement that Sarah wrote on Facebook:

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Yes, she did use the words “death panel.” But that is the limit of the truth in the leftist claims. Nowhere in the above quote did she say “kill my Down Syndrome baby” or anything about killing her grandparents.

But that doesn’t matter to leftist liberals. They simply follow their leaders like sheep without even bothering to check out whether they are being told the truth or not. Then, these same “enlightened” progressives go out and repeat the lie like mindless trained parrots.

We should note that Gov. Palin did say the following: “based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.”

In that, her concerns are extremely valid as I pointed out in the following post:

And Speaking Of People Carrying Swastikas
84rules
August 6, 2009

In that post you will find the writings of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, advisor to Barack Obama on health care issues, who embraces a health care policy known as the “complete lives system” in which infants, elderly and special needs patients are deliberately denied medical treatment so that others (i.e. more productive people) will always have adequate care.

If any libs out there want to argue this point or argue the misquote, please feel free to leave a thoughful response. I’d love to hear from you.

Obama Administration Quashes Biden’s Comments About Israel

I remember back during the 2008 Presidential election that libs and Dems were hurling insults at Sarah Palin saying that she was “stupid” or “not smart enough.” Well, let’s contrast that with what has been happening with Vice President Joe “Gaffe” Biden.

He made a gaffe about Franklin Roosevelt going on television when the market crashed in 1929. But Roosevelt was not president yet and television was not commercially avaliable at the time.

He made a gaffe when he asked a wheelchair-bound man to “stand up and take a bow.”

Sarah Palin never did or said anything that even came close to these two gaffes and they are only a small representation of Biden’s repertoire.

Now, the Obama administration has had to step in once again and undo whatever damage Biden did by talking.

From Breitbart:

The Obama administration poured cold water Monday on any notion it is giving Israel the green light to attack Iran or that it is reconsidering plans to engage diplomatically with the Islamic republic.

Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the United States would not stand in the way of Israel in its dealings with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

But State Department spokesman Ian Kelly rebuffed suggestions from reporters that Biden could be seen as giving the Jewish state a green light to attack Iran, which it views as an existential threat.

I think Biden was pretty clear in what he said and left little room for interpretation. Here is his quote: “Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else. We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination, that they’re existentially threatened.”

Seems petty clear to me.

You can access the complete atory on-line here:

US Not Giving Israel ‘Green Light’ To Attack Iran
AFP via Breitbart
July 6, 2009

How Stupid Does James Carville Think We Are?

I’m actually on vacation right now, but I will post a few things before I pack up the family and head to the beach for the rest of the week.

Got this in an email from James Carville as the DNC tries to beg for money from me:

At midnight tonight, the FEC deadline hits and we will have to report how much money we have in the bank. As of now, we’re still $43,124 away from hitting our million dollar goal.

If we hit our goal, that means the media is gonna judge that President Obama still has momentum on his side when it comes to health care and everything else. If we fall short, they’ll be saying that Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, with the over $14 million they just raised for Republicans, are stealing our thunder.

First, does Carville actually believe that the media will ever say that Barack Obama has lost momentum? If he really does believe that, then he has an IQ lower than the average American because Joe and Jane Average American know better than to believe something as crazy as that.

Second, does Carville believe that the media will ever place the philosophy of a Conservative Republican over that of a leftist Dem? Again, only the most gullible and naive will believe any of this.

The Dems really do need to come up with a better message if they are trying to outspend and outscore a political party they’ve been declaring “dead” over the past several months.

Just something to think about.