You’d be hard-pressed to look around anymore and not find evidence of the de-valuing of human life. From the violent cop-killing video games kids play to the questionable fashion statements of college students wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the faces of murderous dictators, a culture obsessed with death and violence lurks in some of the most unexpected places.
In Part 1 of this post (scroll down to read), I wrote about how early-20th century progressives have influenced the thinking of many of today’s leaders—in politics, the media, and in academia. The issues of life—and death—are coming up more and more in public affairs, nowhere more so than in the health care debate.
Last summer, Sarah Palin was lampooned for suggesting that the health care bills (still under consideration) contained what could only be described as “death panels”. (see George Bernard Shaw promoting that very idea decades ago in Part 1).
As anyone who’s followed this has come to realize, she wasn’t so far off. When you know who’s been advising President Obama on health care, it all starts to make a lot of sense.
The Special Advisor for Health Policy, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, has been the person giving advice to the president on the complete over-haul of the US health care system. Note that Dr. Emanuel is un-elected and accountable to no one other than Obama, and he is also the brother of the very gangster-like Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff.
In a 2009 article from the British medical journal Lancet, Dr. Emanuel and others wrote about the possible ways that medical resources could be disbursed among the population (i.e. rationed) in the event that there is a shortage of something—vaccines, hospital beds, medical personnel…or money, for that matter.
They debate the pros and cons of various rationing methods, such as a lottery, sickest first, what saves the most lives, etc. But after determining that most of these are subject to corruption (what human endeavor isn’t?), they came up with what they call the “complete lives system”.
The complete lives system basically boils down to the chart above. It brings in elements of the other forms of rationing, but “prioritizes younger people who have not yet lived a complete life.” The bulk of health care resources would be given to those aged 15 or so until 40, when it begins to steadily decline. It drops off sharply after 60.
So, just to give an example, in the event of a crisis (and what isn’t a crisis to a politician?), an 80-year-old veteran could be denied care in favor of, say, a 25-year-old illegal alien, just because the younger person hasn’t had a chance yet to be 80, but the older person has already been 25. Therefore, they say, this is not age discrimination. According to the article, “because all people age, treating people of different ages differently does not mean that we are treating persons unequally.”
The very young fare no better. If you’re “off the chart” on the other end, Dr. Emanuel and friends are just as compassionate. Get a load of this quote from the Lancet article: “The death of a 20-year-old young woman is intuitively worse than that of a 2-month-old girl even though the baby has had less life. The 20-year-old has a much more developed personality than the infant, and has drawn upon the investment of others to begin as-yet-unfulfilled projects.”
I bet the parents of the 2-month-old girl would see things differently.
So, who would make these decisions? Probably not you and your family doctor. Hmmm…maybe a group of people…who work for the government…sort of a panel of people? Deciding who lives—and who dies?
No, never! Not in America, right? Only a crazy woman from Alaska and extremist Tea Partiers think that.
When President Obama spoke to a group of rabbis last year about health care, he told them, “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” The arrogance of that statement is frightening. In the New Testament, Jesus– and only Jesus– is referred to as the Author of Life. Only He should be deciding when it starts and ends.
We’re already going into this health care legislation with a shortage of money– everyone knows that. Also, there’s been a nursing shortage for years. Is it really so hard to believe that in years to come, under the complete lives system, some “compassionate” government-appointed counselor couldn’t persuade a young mother to forgo care for her special needs baby “for the greater good”? Or that an elderly person couldn’t be talked into taking a pill, rather than have a surgery that would improve their quality of life?
As Thomas Jefferson said, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”