Italy fulfilling Gov. Sarah Palin's death panel prophecy

Oh, how the elites laughed and scorned and mocked Alaska's former governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's warning, more than a decade ago, that President Obama's proposal for a government takeover of health care would result in "death panels" deciding who would receive medical care and who would not: who would live, who would die.

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

That was 2009; fast-forward to 2020, and lo! in the Italian government-dominated health care system, we learned last week

Italians over 80 'will be left to die' as country overwhelmed by coronavirus

Hardest-hit region drafts new proposals saying who will live and who will die

Coronavirus victims in Italy will be denied access to intensive care if they are aged 80 or more or in poor health should pressure on beds increase, a document prepared by a crisis management unit in Turin proposes.

Some patients denied intensive care will in effect be left to die, doctors fear.

The document states:

Should it become impossible to provide all patients with intensive care services, it will be necessary to apply criteria for access to intensive treatment, which depends on the limited resources available[.]

This week, as the Wuhan COVID-19 continued its devastation, government officials lowered the age of medical care access even more, to 60

Dr. Gai Peleg told Israeli television that in northern Italy, the orders are not to allow those over 60 access to respiratory machines. (snip)

Peleg said that, from what he sees and hears in the hospital, the instructions are not to offer access to artificial respiratory machines to patients over 60, as such machines are limited in number. 

This would accelerate Italy's grim death statistics.  The country, which has been hit hard by Wuhan COVID-19, marked a grim milestone Thursday as its number of deaths from the rampaging global coronavirus outbreak surpassed those in China.

The country's death toll hit 3,405 as of Thursday, an increase of 427 compared to Wednesday, according to Italy's Civil Protection Department.

Italy has been staggering under the effects of the pandemic for weeks.  Hospitals and even some morgues in the hard-hit northern Italian city of Milan are stretched beyond capacity.

The threat to limit — or even deny — the use of respirators to those over 60, or 80, then, is real because of Italian demographics.

One factor in the high death toll so far is the high median age in Italy, which is 47 years, compared to 37 in China and 38 in the U.S.  Stated as a percentage of the total population, Italy has more people over the age of 80, 90, or 100 than any other major industrialized country except Japan.  With the average age of a COVID-19 victim in Italy over 80, that is a factor in the denial of medical care, with most of the elderly victims already suffering from serious underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or hypertension.

Let's repeat Palin's chilling prophecy:

And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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.

Who is laughing now?  Who is crying? 

Image credit: Wikimedia, public domain.

Oh, how the elites laughed and scorned and mocked Alaska's former governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's warning, more than a decade ago, that President Obama's proposal for a government takeover of health care would result in "death panels" deciding who would receive medical care and who would not: who would live, who would die.

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

That was 2009; fast-forward to 2020, and lo! in the Italian government-dominated health care system, we learned last week

Italians over 80 'will be left to die' as country overwhelmed by coronavirus

Hardest-hit region drafts new proposals saying who will live and who will die

Coronavirus victims in Italy will be denied access to intensive care if they are aged 80 or more or in poor health should pressure on beds increase, a document prepared by a crisis management unit in Turin proposes.

Some patients denied intensive care will in effect be left to die, doctors fear.

The document states:

Should it become impossible to provide all patients with intensive care services, it will be necessary to apply criteria for access to intensive treatment, which depends on the limited resources available[.]

This week, as the Wuhan COVID-19 continued its devastation, government officials lowered the age of medical care access even more, to 60

Dr. Gai Peleg told Israeli television that in northern Italy, the orders are not to allow those over 60 access to respiratory machines. (snip)

Peleg said that, from what he sees and hears in the hospital, the instructions are not to offer access to artificial respiratory machines to patients over 60, as such machines are limited in number. 

This would accelerate Italy's grim death statistics.  The country, which has been hit hard by Wuhan COVID-19, marked a grim milestone Thursday as its number of deaths from the rampaging global coronavirus outbreak surpassed those in China.

The country's death toll hit 3,405 as of Thursday, an increase of 427 compared to Wednesday, according to Italy's Civil Protection Department.

Italy has been staggering under the effects of the pandemic for weeks.  Hospitals and even some morgues in the hard-hit northern Italian city of Milan are stretched beyond capacity.

The threat to limit — or even deny — the use of respirators to those over 60, or 80, then, is real because of Italian demographics.

One factor in the high death toll so far is the high median age in Italy, which is 47 years, compared to 37 in China and 38 in the U.S.  Stated as a percentage of the total population, Italy has more people over the age of 80, 90, or 100 than any other major industrialized country except Japan.  With the average age of a COVID-19 victim in Italy over 80, that is a factor in the denial of medical care, with most of the elderly victims already suffering from serious underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or hypertension.

Let's repeat Palin's chilling prophecy:

And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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.

Who is laughing now?  Who is crying? 

Image credit: Wikimedia, public domain.