Death Panels are NICE __ Really?

Posted on May 31, 2011

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Death panels by any other name are still death panels and they are not nice but they are NICE.

A big Hat Tip to Bruce McQuain over at Questions and Observations for the link to this article from Health Care News published by The Heartland Institute. We all know that Obama and his fellow liberal/socialists hold the health care system of our brethren across the pond up as the model for what universal heath care (ObamaCare) should become here in the US. So lets see what this Health Care News article has to say about the system in the UK on the subject of “Death Panels.”

Great Britain’s government-run health care system, the National Health Service (NHS), has long considered limiting coverage for people with illnesses deemed to be lifestyle-related. In 2005 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the NHS’s guiding body, advised that smokers and obese people be refused health care. Now NHS North Yorkshire and York is preventing certain operations for the obese or smokers because they say unhealthy lifestyles lower their chance of success.

I don’t think that NICE is very nice, do you?

“The NHS is funded by British taxpayers, and throughout their lives they are told that it will be there for them when they need it. Now the government is saying that although you’ve paid into the system throughout your life, unfortunately you will not be receiving treatment because the NHS has checked off some boxes when you were admitted to the hospital and find that you are a second-class citizen because you smoke, drink, or are obese,” says  Basham.

“Morally, philosophically, empirically, and economically, it is wrong to withhold medical treatment from someone. If they need health care based on a lifestyle issue, they still need care. Denying them care doesn’t make them healthier; it harms them,” says Basham.

Let’s see if I understand this. If you are old and a smoker or if you are old and obese, we NICE people don’t think you deserve medical that you have paid for. We NICE people think you should do your countrymen a favor and just die. We NICE people will give you pain killers to make dying easier. How nice is that? Let’s continue.

“They don’t think the aged will derive as much benefit from a transplant, or they determine the cost of treatment is wasted on the elderly, so they don’t approve them for treatment,” Herrick said. “What they’re doing is creating favored constituencies of patients: The young and healthy vs. the elderly and sick. The politics of medicine dictate that you provide a service for their votes. Who is the largest voting block? The healthy. People who are in nursing homes or long-term care very rarely vote, so they’re the first to be denied care.”

There is little opportunity to appeal these decisions, Herrick notes, because Britain has offloaded the hard decisions to an unaccountable bureaucracy.

“The politicians don’t want to be the ones that tell you that you have been denied treatment. They don’t want that responsibility because it affects how you will vote,” says Herrick.

So unelected bureaucrats (Death Panels) get to decide if old people receive health care or not. How do we get the AARP to understand this. We need them if we ever hope to repeal ObamaCare. Death Panels are not nice but they are NICE.

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