So, the elites laughed at Sarah Palin when she warned that a government run health system would bring about death panels. Well the ill--and their families--aren't laughing in England where there is a government run health system called the National Health Service (NHS). And while the NHS doesn't have a specific sub group labeled death panel it does have an institution with the ironic acronym NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) which
NICE has made another of its fateful (or "fatal") decisions: the drug, Nexavor, which significantly prolongs the life of liver cancer patients, and is widely available in other countries, is not be used by the NHS because it is too expensive. So all those who might have benefited from it have effectively been told that, on accounting principles, they are not worth keeping alive. Nice is functioning as what the US opponents of Obama's healthcare reforms call " a death panel". And because its edicts apply to the NHS as a whole, there is no possibility of appealing to a different Hospital Trust or a different GP in the hope of getting a different decision. That is the reality of a government monopoly system.
The cancer research bodies and the agencies that care for terminal patients are appalled.
Appalled as they are, it is, as Janet Daley of England's Telegraph online, points out
But, on the present priorities (and limitations) of the NHS, this is a justifiable policy. There is only so much money that can be spent on healthcare and so the cost effectiveness of every intervention or medication must be judged in terms of the greater good: how best can these limited funds be used to cure what is curable and make a material difference to the lives of the largest number of people?
In other words, death panels. So laugh--and cry--when those same elites confidently state Obamacare won't include death panels. And remember mature ladies, postpone your mammogram for a few years--and save money.