Monday, June 28, 2010

Dead Wrong

From personal experience, I can attest that seeing a loved one die from an incurable illness is no picnic. And the ethics of "end-of-life care" are beyond the purview of this blog. But I am also a big believer in choice, and in honesty when being presented different options.

One of my major issues with ObamaCare© is the implementation of death panels; when one's choices become delegated to nameless, faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats, then one ceases to actually have any choice. But it's more insidious than just "passing the bill:" it's also the willing complicity of our mass media in perpetrating that fraud.

To wit:

"The doctors finally let Rosaria Vandenberg go home ... That precious time at home could have come sooner if the family had known how to talk about alternatives to aggressive treatment."

Agreed. One of the major benefits of consumer-centric health care is the removal of that "wall" between patient and provider, empowering the consumer of health care to understand the plethora and impact of various choices.

But that's not the purpose of the Yahoo piece. This is:

"Americans increasingly are treated to death, spending more time in hospitals in their final days, trying last-ditch treatments that often buy only weeks of time, and racking up bills that have made medical care a leading cause of bankruptcies."

That's sleight of hand that would make Houdini blush. The fact is, we spend more because medical care costs more. The sleight of hand comes from the easy - and entirely deceptive - segue into a discussion of the economics of that care. Once it becomes "all about the money," then the moral choice is no longer relevant. And when it's about a bureaucrat deciding whether or not your 32 year old wife may even have the choice of these treatments, then it's even worse.

And let's dispense - again - with the long-since-debunked canard about "medical care [as] a leading cause of bankruptcies." This has never been true, yet it's the 'go-to justification' for everything from withholding treatment to passing ObamaCare© itself. It's also another way to inject economics into a debate about life and death. Are financial considerations relevant? Of course they are, but they are not the deal-maker or -breaker here.

At least not yet.
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