In the end—bad pun intended—end-of-life planning under nationalized health care will be more about how one has lived his or her life than how to end it. In effect it means that we all must accept the Democrat’s rationale of what constitutes quality of life.
I use Democrat here in the broad sense because if you are a Democrat, you by default accept your party’s philosophies and tenets, whether or not you consider yourself moderate or yellow dog. Your party is controlled by the extreme left wing, and, at the very least, your opinion is moot.
The current debate over what Sarah Palin accurately labeled, “death panels,” is academic; one either accepts the government’s assertion that it has a right to intrude in the most personal decision anyone will ever make, or one doesn’t. Because that is exactly what government control of health care will mean; someone somewhere will necessarily make the decision of who will benefit from available treatments and to what degree.
Palin—again accurately—rationalized that the elderly and disabled will suffer most when nationalized health care is enacted. The morbidly obese, the elderly, disabled, smokers, diabetics, the autistic—the list goes on and on—will be at the mercy of the care boards. Boards will govern medication distribution (who gets what when and how much), boards will decide what doctors will be available to you and ultimately who lives and who dies. She was right about all of it.
If you are currently battling a life-threatening disease you have reason for concern; if you are battling a life-threatening disease and you have been a smoker, a drug addict, overweight, or alcoholic you really have reason for concern. If you have muscular dystrophy and you are not Stephen Hawking … Right.
To be fair death panels already exist. Every HMO and PPO in the country has boards that determine who receives what treatment, when and for how long; based on the patient’s age, prognosis, statistical data, and finally what some doctor thinks of the patient, the carrier can effectively cut a life short at will. And that decision is final and cannot be litigated.
To be fairer still, Democrats are accurate in pointing out that end-of-life counseling was included in Medicare in 2008. There is nothing inherently evil with end-of-life planning; people have done it for years. Before my father passed away we discussed his wishes regarding life-preserving measures and he elected not to receive them.
That is not the end-of-life planning Democrats have in mind. End-of-life planning under Obamacare will become what all government-run institutions become—redlined statistical snafus controlled by faceless bureaucrats who will base decisions on their opinions of your value to society.
End of life care may be voluntary now but it will not remain so. Because it comes with a built-in philosophy. Prescription rationing has already begun and that alone is essentially a death panel decision.
Just about anyone who reads a newspaper or has watched “60 Minutes” knows that there is a movement in this country by the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party to legalize euthanasia. Currently three states—Oregon, Washington and Montana—have doctor-assisted suicide. Washington just committed its first legalized murder last year.
End-of-life care is something that one should make provisions for; you should discuss your personal wishes with your family or someone you trust. But the decision of how one ends one’s life should not be placed in the hands of a doctor, someone who may not share your religious beliefs or values, and who may well hold your life in his hands one day.
Keep a close eye on what your congressman does about this.