Friday, October 3, 2014

"Death Panels"

I'm sure you saw the news last week about Dr. Zeke Emanuel claiming to not want to live past 75. If that is his wish, I suppose that is his right. However, that was a stalking horse. He doesn't want those of us he doesn't believe are worthy to live past 75, either.

From a physician's blog:

You should take everything Dr. Ezekiel ("Zeke") Emanuel says seriously. Especially the subtitle of his latest long essay in the The Atlantic on Sept 17: "Why I Hope to Die at 75: An argument that society and families -- and you -- will be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly."
As a principal architect of Obamacare, a White House insider, a frequent contributor to theNew York Times and MSNBC's "Morning Joe," a former director of the National Institutes of Health Department of Clinical Bioethics, and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Zeke makes pronouncements on health policy that are likely to become law.
Dr. Brandt goes on to say,

While eugenics was about engineering the gene pool through controlling reproduction by "scientific" methods, Emanuel endorses another population control method: culling the herd of undesirables, or in this case, at first, self-culling. Eugenics began and was developed in the U.S., but was taken to monstrous ends in Nazi Germany and led to the Holocaust.
Emanuel's ominous attempt to define human productivity is as dark as the unethical "science" of using "feeblemindedness" and "seizures" as the basis for forced sterilization in the U.S. well into the 1970s. And it pits generations against each other.
Emanuel's essay on dying to help balance the federal budget comes not coincidentally on the very same day the Institute of Medicine, of which he is a member, released its report, "Dying in America," which not coincidentally terms fee-for-service medicine a "perverse incentive."
Having just been in our nation's capital last week and having watched this process from the inside, I agree with Dr. Brant's conclusion:
Emanuel has spent too much time around Washington insiders and fawning media to know that patients and families want to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. They want the political class to leave them alone and not tell them how long they should live and how productive they are. They want a doctor they can trust, not a doctor who is a hired hand gathering data for a prognostic index of "life unworthy of life."
But guys like Zeke want to play God, and that never ends well for society. So get ready to take one for the country. It's your patriotic duty to die when Zeke says it's time to go.
As someone who used to have to spend too much time working the issues in our Nation's capital, I cannot overemphasize that the vast majority of people in Washington live a different life, with different incentives, than those of us who live outside the Beltway. Don't automatically count on them to do the right thing. 

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