Thursday, September 03, 2009


Death Care

From the Daily Telegraph:
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.

“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."
This is what happens when politics mixes with medicine. Even if Obama and the Obamacare cheerleaders have no intention of making a healthcare system like Britain's NHS, who is to say we won't see this in the U.S. when our government cannot afford to provide wonderful health care for everyone? What happens when our government has to ration health care because the costs have NOT gone down, and in fact have gone up because everyone starts using health care services like a free buffet?

President Obama can laugh off the "death panels" arguments because that is not his intent. But once government controls health care, and it becomes too expensive to provide everything to everyone, what then? By then, it will become another third rail of American politics, and the politicians will be faced with making hidden sacrifices or raising taxes, just as they have had to do in Britain. When faced with a choice of angering all voters, or killing off a few of the already dying voters, which choice is obvious?

Dead voters can't vote against you.

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