March 8, 2009
Nationalizing Life and DeathBy John Griffing
"Crisis! Crisis! Crisis!" So is it always with petty politicians seeking to enhance their power. Swallow it whole, swallow it now is the word. But just what are we swallowing so fast that we don't even have time to think? Are we really to believe that all we must do is touch the hem of President Obama's garment, and the pains of capitalist dislocation will wash away?
Hidden deep in the stimulus bill is a Trojan horse like no other. I am not speaking of pork. A scheme more dastardly would have been hard to concoct. With the passage of this bill, the US government is now empowered to "ration" healthcare. That means, to treat or not to treat is now a government question.
Within the bill is a line that would sentence millions of people to death:
In addition, $400,000,000 shall be available...to accelerate the development and dissemination of research assessing the comparative effectiveness of health care treatments and strategies, including through efforts that: (1) conduct, support, or synthesize research that compares the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of items, services, and procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases, disorders, and other health conditions
For those that don't speak draconian, "comparative effectiveness" means that the cost of an individual's treatment will be divided by the number of years they are likely to benefit. If your treatment is too "costly" you will be thrown out with the bathwater. No country for old men. The bill also created the "Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research" to make comparative effectiveness decisions. Only 20 years after winning the Cold War we are adopting central planning as our preferred model. Only, instead of determining the number of toothbrushes, this committee will determine the value of someone's life. How ironic.
The stimulus bill mandates electronic healthcare records for every American by 2014 and would "encourage the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data...." No room for miracles. Computer models will now decide your "outcome." Twilight Zone anybody?
If you are picturing Germany circa 1930, you're right on. With the passing of this bill, government, not doctors, will decide who receives care and who doesn't, in essence, who lives and who dies. The cruelest regimes in history have begun with this premise. Government was responsible for non-war related deaths exceeding 100M in the 20th Century, 80M by Communist governments[i], and now we're going to trust them with our medical care? "Do no harm", the Hippocratic Oath, has been replaced by "cost-benefit analysis."
It will start with the elderly, because after all, they are social burdens and a drain on federal funds. They need to wake up and smell the coffin. "If they're going to die they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population!" Comrade Tom Daschle, the author of the ominous healthcare provisions, supports this line of thought, saying that healthcare reform "will not be pain free." He goes on to praise Europeans for being willing to accept "hopeless diagnoses" and forgo "experimental treatments".
Next would be the infirmed. Too many resources are wasted on people with incurable diseases. We should allocate money to those who actually have the potential to live and live well.
Then the children with a poor quality of life. One can recall the abortion lobby's virulent argument for killing black babies.
Then newborns. It simply won't end. The medical profession will become the harbinger of death, not health. This is not a slippery slope argument. Holland has already slipped the slope. Holland's healthcare system is so cash-strapped that it views humans as liabilities. A patient must formally request "no euthanasia" before simple outpatient surgery. In fact, involuntary euthanasia accounts for over 1,000 deaths in Holland annually. In addition, 8,000 people in Holland die every year because they are given intentional overdoses of pain medication, not to control pain, but to end life. In 60 percent of these cases, the patient did not give his or her consent to the action.[ii]
If doctors making quality of life decisions doesn't scare you, maybe this will: Holland has a committee to decide who's expendable. It actually slates children, adults-anybody-for euthanasia. Robespierre and the Public Safety Committee are back, ushering in a reign of terror for our times.
Holland has quickly broadened the scope of euthanasia, extending the "right to die" all the way down to 12-year olds, no parental consent required. If they can get an abortion, why can't they kill themselves?
Holland even legalized euthanasia for newborns. In some countries this is still considered infanticide. Recently an abortionist was jailed in the United States for throwing a survivor baby in a dumpster. A few inches is all that determines humanity in this country, but at least there's a standard.
It is hard to believe that only fifty years ago, it was Dutch doctors that stood up to Adolph Hitler's eugenicist policies and refused to kill weaker patients. What a difference a generation makes. Holland is a giant concentration camp. That is why it is so crucial for Americans to wake up before it's too late.
Bottom-line: if government is allowed to make healthcare about cost and not saving lives, it will degrade human worth to something not fit to mention. If government controls the medical profession, it controls life. We have a choice. America can go the way of Germany and Holland, or it can remain the beacon of hope for the world. The "right to choose" has been turned against us. What will we choose?
[i] R.J. Rummel, "War Isn't This Century's Biggest Killer," Wall Street Journal, 7 July 1986, http://libproxy.calbaptist.edu:2083/pqdweb?index=0&did=27254204&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1235181353&clientId=52936, (retrieved 20 February 2009).