Obama's Friends 'Out' the Death Panels

Dr. Emanuel thinks we need to stop all this chatter about the worth of the individual. Instead we should focus on communal needs. And he has just the scheme for allocating scare resources. Dr. Emanuel describes his ghoulishly named “complete lives” system:

"When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated." ... Dr. Emanuel concedes that his plan appears to discriminate against older people, but he explains: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination. ... Treating 65-year-olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not."

Translation: grandma’s life is "complete," so no more care for her. Or for 83-year-olds like Godhill’s dad, no matter how energetic they appear to be.

Let’s not kid ourselves then. For all the feigned outrage, the Obama crowd is not just willing to institute a push toward end-of-life counseling and government regulatory panels to tell us what treatments are “efficient”; it is a key feature of a nationalized health care system. A report from the UK tells us about the “Liverpool Care Pathway" for the dying patient (and maybe those not so close to dying):

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across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.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

Dr. Emanuel would tell us there is no crisis at all. The problem is simply the unenlightened masses and improperly trained doctors who persist with an outmoded attachment to the worth of the individual.

The health care debate has been revealing. After the dog days of August, with their backs to the wall, Obama’s minions are tipping their hand. They’d prefer a different name than “death panels,” but in their less guarded moments they confess that they would be more than happy to shut off the flow of care to the elderly, who after all have lived “complete lives.”

If this seems monstrous, it is. But we are in the debt of Brooks and Dr. Emanuel for giving us some insight into the mindset of those who would remake our health care system.