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July 15, 2011

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Danube of Thought

I realize there's no way of going back, but how did we get to the point where most of the civilized world accepts uncritically the idea that the state has a predominant role (or any role at all) in the provision of health insurance or healthcare services?

A century ago it was understood, as it always had been, that medical care was something that people took care to provide for themselves and their families. They received services; they paid for them. If they were unable to pay, the family gave what support it could and the patient died.

Now we take it for granted that all services, no matter how costly or cost-ineffective, are to be paid for with other people's money. All the rest, including the fiscal crisis, follows as night follows day.

Just sayin'.

Rob Crawford

Brooks first.

narciso

Why did Reagan oppose it, back in 1961, he knew what would it would lead to,

MarkO

We could take the money saved and make my life wonderful. Beach houses, jets, martinis with pals. Yes. Do it.

MaryD

Great post, DoT. and it applies to a lot more than health care.

Thomas Collins

See LUN for a Sally Pipes piece on how Obama's proposed "reforms" of Medicare Part D will harm a program that has worked. In the course of her piece, Pipes states that:

"The reason Part D saves money is because it allows plan sponsors – private insurance companies – to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers and pharmacies. In other words, the free market works."

What for normal people is a feature of a health care program (providing a framework for private competition that limits costs and still provides good benefits) is for Obama a bug. Anything that has the potential of moving away from total federal control of the US health care system is for Obama a bug. If Brooks were a serious conservative (I hope my mention of "serious" and "Brooks" in the same sentence hasn't caused any coffee spills on iPads or keyboards), he would write on successes in the use of market competition in the health care system, not on the supposed benefits of pressuring people to die sooner.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

This fiscal crisis is about many things, but one of them is our inability to face death — our willingness to spend our nation into bankruptcy to extend life for a few more sickly months.

Easy for him to say. In the past year, I have had a(nother) heart attack, a relapse from trying to go back to work too soon, and a bout of viral pneumonia. Any one of those conditions would have finished me off but for a plethora of quality medical providers and a hospital with excellent nursing services.

Last month, one of my daughters narrowly escaped death twice. First, she developed preeclampsia necessitating the delivery of our grandson 90 days early. (He died after three weeks in the natal ICU and emergency surgery at the best childrens' hospital in the Southeast.)

Second, 10 days ago she was hospitalized for what was originally diagnosed as a stroke. After extensive tests, it was determined she is suffering from systemic Lupus. Once the diagnosis was made she began to improve markedly, but she nearly died while they were trying to figure out what made her severely ill.

I have been able to "face death" since my first heart attack 45 years ago. My daughter, her husband and her extended family have "faced death" for the last six weeks.

If Brooks is arguing that we allow death's call to succeed without a fight, I think he is full of it. If he is only arguing that we should allow death without a fight once we reach a certain age, I still think he is full of it.

If Brooks doesn't want heroic measures to be taken when he or his family are at death's door, he can simply make out a living will or advance directive for health care to that effect and advise his immediate family to do the same.

Al Asad

You afraid of laws requiring individuals to accept hospice rather than vegetate on drugs which keep you almost artificially alive?

Well, I fear the laws on the books now, which deny me the right to end my own life, when I so choose.

My spouse and I have a pact.

If it stops bein' fun, roll up the windows and let the engine run. We'll overnight a letter to law enforcement where they can find our vehicle in some unpopulated area.

Jeff

maybe Brooks has missed the heated debates about the IPAB ...

If the IPAB is not a death panel then nothing is ...

Janet

If Brooks doesn't want heroic measures to be taken when he or his family are at death's door, he can simply make out a living will or advance directive for health care to that effect and advise his immediate family to do the same.

That is a great point. How many of these pundits & Dems have done that? Just like redistributing THEIR wealth. Or THEM sending THEIR "extra" money to the US Treasury. Do THEY use gas guzzling cars? do THEY fly on planes?
Until I see THEM change their lifestyle, they need to shut the hell up.

MayBee

Ezra Klein, Zakaria, and Brooks have all been pushing this in the past year or two.

It must be coming from the White House.

Stephanie

Well, I fear the laws on the books now, which deny me the right to end my own life, when I so choose.

If you've ended your life, the laws on the books are not really enforceable are they?

Porchlight

Jim Rhoads,

I am so sorry to hear about your grandson. I can't even imagine how difficult that must have been. I hope your daughter's health continues to improve, and will pray for your family.

Rick Ballard

Jim,

My condolences regarding the loss of your grandson.

MarkO

Brooks poses as a putative conservative who can use that identification to add weight to his predictable shift to a progressive position or candidate. He will then describe his move as centrist and against the “radical” right. He’s just a stalking horse, like Sullivan was in the prior election.

Imagine, if you will, someone like Krugman as a double agent for the conservatives. He would, about now in this debt debate, come out against Obama as being too far left and not in the mainstream of American life.

That’s all Brooks does. Why else would the Times employ him? It’s not for his great ideas, but for the supposed heft he gives to bashing “other conservatives."

bgates

I was struck by a sentence in the linked TNR piece:

One of us was the beneficiary of a life-saving heart operation at age 78, of a kind that did not exist a decade ago (and both of us celebrated our eightieth birthdays this past year).

It occurs to me that I am young enough, Republican enough, and unconnected enough that if the government succeeds in taking control of medicine, I am certain to not be the beneficiary of a life-saving heart operation at age 78 or 68 or 58. In reading the words of someone who was, I feel I am looking at someone whose status in life I can never hope to attain. It is how I imagine my European peasant ancestors once looked at the local nobility. It is a feeling I never expected to have as an American.

Rob Crawford

Well, I fear the laws on the books now, which deny me the right to end my own life, when I so choose.

You're the anarchist; off yourself despite (or to spite) the law.

anduril

1. Brooks is not a conservative. He's a neo-conservative. That means he's a liberal by a different name. We should all be aware by know of liberalism's dehumanized views of human beings.

2. It's obvious enough that we can't continue the way we're going, re health insurance. OTOH...

3. Brooks, and most other liberals', contention that the only alternative is death panels is something I find unconvincing. For example, he says nothing about administrative costs, about malpractice insurance reforms, etc., etc.

4. Such reforms, IMO, would go a long way to allowing doctors to make rational medical decisions rather than practicing defensive medicine. The result would be more human medical care as well as cost saving.

Ignatz

Brooks is so full of s**t.
It's always portrayed as some drooling 2000 year old man in a persistent vegetative state being kept alive for a fortune.
The effectiveness of virtually every drug my wife has been on for the last six years has been measured in terms of median months until progression of disease and for many people that progression ends in death months later. For many, many others it leads to years of relatively healthy and happy life. What is the value of those lives to society, Davey boy and why do you wish to give the power to determine that value to the state?
Because over the last 100 years governments have proven just how wise their valuation of human life is?
We take the market out of medicine so that, like education, its costs soar and the solution is not to let the market back in; it's to kill people instead.
David Brooks and the rest of the statists can GFT.
These are real people with real lives these creeps so blithely talk about killing who are just as valuable (immensely more so IMO) than the morbid, vulturine, actuaries and morticians he apparently hangs around with.

anduril

WRM offers an example that I believe is very relevant to what's wrong with American health care, and also has something to say about the road to fixing it. I believe there are ways to fix it well short of the supposed alternatives of Obamacare/Collapse: Shingles And The American Health Care Fiasco

Jane

I realize there's no way of going back, but how did we get to the point where most of the civilized world accepts uncritically the idea that the state has a predominant role (or any role at all) in the provision of health insurance or healthcare services?

WE got to that point by failing to object to the left's insistence that healthcare (and about anything else you can name) is a right.

anduril

OK, for an example of the very serious shortcomings in WRM's thinking, cf. It's a Start. Pathetic excuse for reasoning. Probably not worth the time, even though it's short. Not worth inserting the link code.

MayBee

Jim Rhoads- I am so so sorry for all of it. xoxoxo

MayBee

My spouse and I have a pact.

If it stops bein' fun, roll up the windows and let the engine run. We'll overnight a letter to law enforcement where they can find our vehicle in some unpopulated area.

Why a pact? Why do both of you have to die?
Also, ProTip: if you drive to the country and roll up the windows and let the engine run, all that's going to happen is you'll run out of gas.

Clarice

MayBee, assisting suicide? You? I'd hardly have believed it..LOL

anduril

LE will have a good laugh in the morning when they show up.

Appalled

The problem that David Brooks might not appreciate is that most everyone has had a brush with a situation where death was a possibility for a close relative, and only an expensive procedure saved that person. Also, what Brooks may not get is that, currently, there is a lot of dialog about expensive procedures -- since insurance may not want to pay, doctors have to argue well, and insurance has to weigh the legal and political grief that may fall on their head if they deny, vs the expense of tratment. A government panel would not have these concerns, and has a lot of incentive to deny treatment in an age of governmental austerity.

While Brooks may complain about expense, the 90-somethings I have lost over the last twenty years knew when it was time to go, and refused food, rather than spend Mr. Brooks hard (if not well) earned tax dollars. I do grow tired of our statist punditocracy's contempt for free will.

Charlie (Colorado)

Well, I fear the laws on the books now, which deny me the right to end my own life, when I so choose.

And justly so. But do we have to accept the government telling us when we're no longer worth saving in order to have the government not tell us we can no longer bear living?

Clarice

In govt run plans, as far as i can see, the only thing that improves is job opportunities for liberal arts dolts who do a piss poor job as administrators and unskilled workers who care not at all for their charges. Doctors get screwed, patients get screwed and taxpayers get screwed.

Last night I read the horrid UK NHS is suggesting more women should have their babies birthed at home without any medical assistance at all.

Charlie (Colorado)

If you've ended your life, the laws on the books are not really enforceable are they?

There are relatively comfortable ways, and thoroughly unpleasant ways.

There's also the issue of what happens if you're found before it works.

matt

presently, a majority in the country have access to the best medical care available, as the posts above illustrate.

What Brooks wants is to back off of this care to some point where the state determines the end game. This is, at it's core, the banality of evil.

While this scum proclaims that they are pro-choice they are anything but. If an individual chooses life, then that is their decision.

There was a woman I know who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 67. She had one of the best oncologists in the country. She had a radical mastectomy and then radiation treatment. The cancer went into remission for perhaps 9 months. Then came surgery again and chemtherapy. The cancer went into remission for another 9 months to a year. In the end, she died. The process was a 5 or 6 year ordeal.

Under guidelines similar to those of the National Health Service, she probably would not have, at her age, received the second level treatment.

Giving that decision to anyone but the patient is the path to hell.

matt

knew

Jane

Jim,

I too and very sorry for your loss.

Janet

"...argues that life expectancy is now leveling off."

Maybe so, but they don't know what new discoveries might be made. It reminds me of the left's argument that we are running out of oil.

peter

With today's modern low emissions engines, even letting the engine run in an enclosed garage may not do much. Why not keep living, just to piss off everybody else?

Charlie (Colorado)

Under guidelines similar to those of the National Health Service, she probably would not have, at her age, received the second level treatment.

Actually, under the British NHS, she'd probably have been stage 3 or 4 by the time she got the biopsy.

(Another) Barbara

It's important for all of us to have a living will, of course, but that's only a small part of the problem. That'll go into effect when we are in our final shuffle, but no death panel is likely to off my husband and me, for example, when we hiked five miles yesterday, had a swim after, and are cooking and cleaning for six dinner guests later today.

At the same time we are a terrible drain on the economy, with combined medical costs in the thousands of dollars per month to young taxpayers and those yet unborn. For those of you lucky enough to be mere kids compared to us, that's just what happens in one's 70s and 80s, no matter how vigorous or youthful you look and feel.

We are getting back far more than we paid in, as will be true for most of us here. Our progeny will bear the burden.

It's not right, as DoT, expressed so simply and profoundly. We should have to make some tough decisions between our style of living and what we opt for medically. But for an individual to decline the system, unless you are Warren Buffet, would be stupid and mainly unhelpful.

I'd like to say that what we're giving back to society justifies the costs, but that would be a self deception. We are enjoying a vigorous old age at the expense of others.

Danube of Thought

Here's Obama today:

"I hope [Republicans are] not just listening to lobbyists and special interests ... I hope they're listening to the American people as well," Obama said, citing "poll after poll" showing Republican voters, as well as Democrats, believe in taking "a balanced approach" — including both increased revenues and spending cuts in a plan to cut the deficit.

Here's Rasmussen yesterday:

Just 34% think a tax hike should be included in any legislation to raise the debt ceiling. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% disagree and say it should not.
Clarice

Math is so hard, DoT. Almost as bad as Insurance and economics.
Any day now I expect him to show up at a presser with ball bearings in one hand, asking who stole the strawberries from the WH mess.

narciso

Brooks is a fool, it's like fish in a barrel, with a Gatling gun, to 'fisk him' One question though, is 'Zeke' Emmanuel still special advisor to the OMB on Medical ethics.

Thomas Collins

Jim, please accept my condolences on the death of your grandson.

I'm so glad to hear that your daughter has been properly diagnosed and is improving.

Porchlight

Today is the anniversary of the Carter "malaise" speech - July 15, 1979.

Let's hope Obama's presidency is similarly imperiled.

Charlie (Colorado)

I'd like to say that what we're giving back to society justifies the costs, but that would be a self deception. We are enjoying a vigorous old age at the expense of others.

Figure out what you paid in to FICA and figure out what it should have returned you in an open-market annuity.

Captain Hate

Jim, of course I send condolences as well.

MarkJ

David Brooks? Oh yeah, he was the guy who got hot and bothered by the crease in Obama's pants.

Memo for David Brooks: Why the f*** should we read anything you write or listen to anything you say?

anduril

Everyone talks about Fox, but Drudge is really doing a yeoman's job.

narciso

I'm so sorry, for the loss of your grandson, Jim, my condolescences and prayers.

Frau Erfahrung

"You afraid of laws requiring individuals to accept hospice rather than vegetate on drugs which keep you almost artificially alive?"

My *direct* experience with hospice was that the hospice patient, my d-i-l, received as many drugs as needed and then some, for two and half years. It turned out she was sent to hospice too early, and the drugs were delivered every week. She was kept "artificially alive" at home until her death at home.

I'd be glad to hear the actual experience of others.

narciso

Btw, it seems that the 'Kennedy's' that series, that he 'Network of SuperDisasters and Dan Brown' deemed not worthy to air, garnered 10 Emmy nominations.

Frau Erfahrung

"...off yourself despite (or to spite) the law."
Heck, Robert Truehaft's wife Jessica Mitford helped her sister exit stage left many years ago. It's so easy even a woman can do it. ::eye roll::

narciso

TRuhaft, that's who Hillary worked for, at one time, wasn't it.

Frau Erfahrung

"We are enjoying a vigorous old age at the expense of others."

In a Taubesian vein: In what way, A-Barbara? You are not using the flour and sugar rations of others, I believe, and aren't you living off the *fat* of the land?

Captain Hate

O/T More "unexpected" news!! The NBA laid off 114 people in part because of a $50 meeyun hole they find themselves in yet still insist on subsidizing the WNBA black hole of cash. Maybe the owners should lock Stern out and let the players back.

Porchlight

Ah yes, Jessica Mitford, sister of Nancy, Diana, Debo, and Unity.

Frau Erfahrung

Gads, we both botched the name. It's Treuhaft, good old German spelling all the way.
Thanks, narciso, but I believe it's not Hillary but Hillary!, sorta like tildes, cedillas, accents grave and acute and umlauts.

centralcal

Things that make you go hhhmmmm:

Jake Tapper
POTUS said "I'll be turning 50 in a week." Actually in 3 weeks. Not so good on the birthdays, the president.

----------

Birthday, birthplace, all so hazy. Buh-rock is a "birther."

matt

what frosts me the most is the sheer incompetence of the bureaucracy. President Queeg himself admitted to $60 Billion/year in Medicare fraud that he would root out in helping make his health care bill pay for itself. Let's start there, and then, and I hate to upset those who are using the benefit, Viagra. And then look at how the care is delivered and look at making it more efficient.

It simply blows my mind that our government wastes probably 30% of every tax dollar spent. There is no sense of shame among any of the bureaucrats or politicians at this massive hijacking of our money.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

The more I read of Brooks, the more I think he is a smug asshole. This thought is particularly reinforced when I hear him in discussions on NPR with the odious E.J. Dionne and the perpetually above-the-fray Robert Siegel.

Thanks for all of the good wishes and prayers. I was just notified my daughter Sara was discharged from the hospital this morning. She and her husband Bryan, a Fulton County police officer, are now trying to put their lives back together and will welcome your good thoughts and prayers.

I have always been taken with the support of the JOM gang for one another. You all are very special to me.

Frau Erfahrung

Blue light special! Barry to send Chelsea Clinton as official with Dr. Jill to the World Cup in Frankfurt. Chelsea is experienced; her daddy sent her to the Sydney Olympics. (Insert snark here)

Captain Hate

POTUS said "I'll be turning 50 in a week." Actually in 3 weeks. Not so good on the birthdays, the president.

There's something profoundly wrong with somebody who can't remember when his own birthday is, how old his daughter is (ok maybe he gets a pass on that although I'd like to think I'd never do that) or how many states there are. These are things that should be more automatic than what memorizing multiplication tables would yield (assuming they still teach those, which somebody at a session for tutors at a local community college assured me they did). Mistakes like that are just weird and the MFM beclowns itself by pretending they aren't.

Clarice

Good news, Jim , and sorry to read of the bad news.
I

Frau Erfahrung

Add my sincere thoughts for your family at this challenging time. You are special to me, also.

Porchlight

He's a very weird dude, Captain. But we aren't allowed to point it out, because that would be racist or something.

MaryD

Captain, maybe he can't remember his official birthday because the real one is different.

narciso

This is tune with the general spirit of the Thread (h/t Protein Wisdom)


A British Islamic group known for its provocative publicity stunts says a borough in northeast London will be the first target of a campaign to establish “emirates” in the country – Muslim enclaves where shari’a law is enforced.

Waltham Forest, an area identified in the most recent census figures available as having the fifth-biggest proportion of Muslims – 15 percent – of any local authority in England or Wales, has been singled out by radicals behind the group calling itself Muslims Against Crusades (MAC).*

“As part of our Islamic Emirate Project, Waltham Forest is to be the first borough to be targeted for an intense shari’a led campaign, introducing the prospect of Islamic law for the Muslim community to abide by,” MAC said in a statement this week.

The project aims to “gradually transform Muslim communities into Islamic Emirates operating under shari’a law,” the group said.

“You are entering a Shariah controlled zone – Islamic rules enforced,” declares a poster supposedly to be distributed as part of the campaign.

The poster, depicted on MAC’s Web site, warns that alcohol, gambling, drugs, smoking, pornography, prostitution and music concerts will be prohibited.

MAC notes that Waltham Forest boasts a large number of Islamic businesses, schools and mosques, “making a transition into a thriving Islamic emirate, very real and plausible.”


*formerly known as Al Mujahiroun, led by Anjem Choudary

Captain Hate

LOL; I'm listening to Tammy Bruce and she has a guest on that pointed out that Newsweek broke out of the mold by writing a positive story about Sarah Palin, after which Crazy Lawrence O'Donnell went on an unhinged 8 minute tirade (which I was unaware of because it was on the witness protection network) against the magazine.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

How does that differ from the signs I used to see in eastern North Carolina in the early '70s, "you are in Ku Klux Clan country. _______ don't let the sun set on you."

narciso

I would say, Captain, that's the closest Larry has come to a 'Scanners moment' but that
'small particle of brain,' wouldn't leave much
of a trace, in the studio. I caught a snippet of him praising Obama's performance, then I switched to Eureka, because android cops and talking houses seem more realistic.

Captain Hate

thriving Islamic emirate

Unpossible

Jack is Back!

Jim Rhoads,

Our prayers and best wishes for you and your daughter. God bless and good luck to them after such a sad loss.

Just what we and the team don't need - someone from the Bad Luck and Hex Brigade (Dr. Jill and Chelsea). Why can't politicians and their respective minions stay the hell out of athletic contests and let the athletes compete on their own without the bad luck the Obama Admin brings to everything? From experiece, athletes are superstitious and regard any change in dynamics even last minute cheer squads coming over to be bad ju ju. Do not let them near the team or in the locker room until after they have won (if we are so lucky now).

henry

Who is Dr Jill?

narciso

Epic facepalm at the Atlantic, with chief Carter speechwriter Fallows, hearing from his peanut gallery, that Cantor not Obama, is Eddie Haskell,I see R'lyeh arising over the cacophony.

DrJ

Dr. Jill Biden.

henry

Thanks DrJ.

narciso

Bannion, Tammy's Guest, is former Navy, who got enough of a look into the Augean stables
at Goldman, to set up his own boutique firm, before he got into the film business,

Captain Hate

henry, Dr Jill is Biden's wife, who evidently insists that her doctorate in education be recognized by us mongrels. The only other thing I know about her is that Choo Choo Joe sometimes brags about her cans.

Narc I did see that Poppin' posted about the author of the Palin article in Newsweek fired back at, as Lawrence Welk would refer to his grandson, Larry the turd. Evidently it was a fairly objective reporting job which at MSLSD would look like a heretical puff piece.

JM Hanes

Altzheimers is Brook's avatar for "a few more sickly months?" I skipped right on over to the TNR article, which would take a week to properly Fisk:

"Underlying these changes have been several assumptions: that medical advances are essentially unlimited; that none of the major lethal diseases is in theory incurable; and that progress is economically affordable if well managed."

One of these is not like the others, but never mind, we can stop the insanity! Defund research. Make doctors start selling death instead of life. Invest in hospice beds. Eh voilá, cost effective healthcare.

All it takes to get there is a little neo-liberal "dialogue:"

We must have a society-wide dialogue on what a new model of medicine will look like: a model that will be moderate in its research aspirations, and dominated by primary care and neighborhood clinics staffed mainly by family physicians, paramedics and nurses for routine health needs, and organized teams for acute care. If this society-wide dialogue is to be successful, doctors will have to call repeated attention to the economic and social realities of the endless war on disease. They will have to remind the public that this war cannot be won—or can achieve small, incremental victories only—and if we are not careful, we can harm ourselves trying.

Ourselves presumably being everyone under 65, when your every yearly extension becomes a bigger burden to your country.

There's nothing in the article that isn't worth discussing, but when the government takes over the quality of useful life business, the slippery slope never bottoms out. What's most astonishing, however, is that you'll find the same people who promote a 3500 word essay on the socio-economic benefits of better deaths, taking self-righteous umbrage at the mere mention of "death panels."

Dave (in MA)

CH, you left out the fact that her Newsweak photo showed her in a shirt with her local gym's logo on it, a "product placement" scandal apparently worse than Gunwalker by an order of magnitude.

narciso

I swear JM, any day now they will be crowing about the return of leeches, and the bleedings
like the silly Steven Martin sketch about the barber or York. Herbert Croly screams in the afterlife.

narciso

It's Bannon btw, yes that nitwit at Forbes, Bercovici, went into that shpiel, Dave.

Dave (in MA)
chief Carter speechwriter Fallows
So on the 32nd anniversary of the malaise speech, we get Zero claiming "80%" of Americans want taxes raised.
MarkO

As is the case with other poorly formulated ideas, cost cutting at the end of life may ultimately raise questions about the development and cost of drugs to fight HIV and AIDS. Those maladies can be contracted by what could be called bad social behavior, almost as bad as being fat. Moreover, one could argue (for illustrative purposes only) that the infections could be completely avoided (unlike cancer) and that the use of these extraordinary measures for those who have deliberately put themselves at risk should be curtailed just as we have decided that old people should simply die.

Patients should not assume that those who direct the spending of this money will always be of their political persuasion. The entire enterprise is corrupt and lawless.

Moreover, it will mostly apply to those who have no money, i.e., many, many Democrat voting folks.

jwest

Although I don’t believe anyone despises David Brooks more than I do, I’m going to jump into the Death Panel discussion basically on his side.

It’s impossible to throw every medical resource at every patient simply to prevent death. There isn’t enough money to extend everyone’s life without regard for the cost while ignoring what the probability is of restoring someone to a basic level of functionality. It could even be argued that it’s cruel to use extraordinary measures in certain cases where a person could die a reasonably comfortable and dignified death, instead of being poked and prodded every few hours.

Brooks is correct that a change of attitude is necessary in the general public on how we view death. Dying is something best done at home, in a person’s own bed, painlessly. Allowing the medical profession to use every expensive measure, guilt and liability free due to the terminal condition of the patient, just because someone else is picking up the tab cannot continue.

Where the line is drawn for providing care is a difficult decision, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere.

JM Hanes

"a person could die a reasonably comfortable and dignified death"

At the very least, let's call that what it is: Being doped into oblivion.

jwest

JMH,

“doped into oblivion”

This is probably a more accurate term, but you’ll have to agree that in a number of cases, it is the preferable option.

jimmyk

This is typical: Government creates a problem by interfering in a market, and then "solutions" are deemed necessary that involve even greater reductions in freedom. Maybe there's no going back, as DoT says, but the obvious solution is not that government decides when people die, but that people decide it and incur the cost--either through the kind of insurance they get, or out of pocket. For the former, people could pay more for policies that cover extraordinary measures if that's what they want. Or they could have it contingent on age. Granted it's hard to put all that in an insurance policy, but it should be between the patient, the insurer, and the doctor, and keep the government out of it.

Chubby

((At the very least, let's call that what it is: Being doped into oblivion.))

often accompanied by denying all sustenance, even a drop of water on the tongue

Danube of Thought

"If this society-wide dialogue is to be successful" it must end in unanimous agreement on a centrally-planned system run by experts, and if we don't like what the experts decide is best for us we can shut up.

Clarice

JAMA recently published an article suggesting obese children ought to be removed from their parents. Imagine the hooha should JAMA run an article suggesting that end of life measures be restricted to palliative ones for those who have AIDS.

It is impossible to conceive of a national health system which would rise about whatever is the current sacred cow or black sheep. AIDS sufferers at the moment are to be pitied and cared for, he obese to be treated like plague victims once were.

Chubby

((It is impossible to conceive of a national health system which would rise about whatever is the current sacred cow or black sheep. AIDS sufferers at the moment are to be pitied and cared for, he obese to be treated like plague victims once were.))

that perception would make a really good article. Another aspect of it that as euthanasia becomes more socially accepted, doing away with the aged and infirm to save money will be a routine practice in lieu of icebergs

Rob Crawford

Where the line is drawn for providing care is a difficult decision, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere.

Not by bureaucratic fiat.

I have no beef with the idea that I may die because I haven't the resources to pay people to extend my life. "He ran out of money" is the least of the bad choices. It's a bigger evil to place a fixed limit, an even bigger evil to give people discretion on when to end the lives of the innocent, and the biggest evil to force others to provide for my care.

Rob Crawford

Imagine the hooha should JAMA run an article suggesting that end of life measures be restricted to palliative ones for those who have AIDS.

Doesn't seem to bother anyone that Cuba has an even less humane policy.

I Won

I think that there has to be very strict guidelines to ensure that somebody who is making a decision to relieve their pain that might take a week away from their life just because they are — they are slipping into a coma quicker, for example.

That that is distinguished from — or at least there’s a possibility that they slip into a coma. That that’s distinguished from euthanasia in which someone else is making the decision for them.

jwest

Jimmyk,

Once again, knowing I’m going to be pummeled for this, I’ve got to disagree.

Since the early days of HillaryCare, I’ve advocated medical savings accounts, direct pay between individuals and end providers and a government run catastrophic single payer system.

Quoting Friedrich Hayek:
“Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong.”

Finding the right balance as to where to draw the line on what is paid for and what isn’t is the Holy Grail. Without the line, it’s just a quick trip to bankruptcy.

Ignatz

--JAMA recently published an article suggesting obese children ought to be removed from their parents.--

A pretty conclusice case can be made that leftism is a lot more harmful to kids than Cheetos.
I say we remove all kids from their lefty parents.
Anybody want a lefty's brat to take care of?

Captain Hate

Doesn't seem to bother anyone that Cuba has an even less humane policy.

Fidel gets a pass on everything by the lefties. He treats gays and blacks horribly and still has them praising him. He's the king of the shitheap.

Danube of Thought

"those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision"

I doubt Hayek, had he been aware of today's medical procedures, would have considered end-of-life care uncertain, nor would he have considered it an insurable risk.

Holly

Ignatz, six years. Wonderful for you and your family.

I challenge Brooks to spend time in the waiting room of a cancer infusion center. Get up close and personal with real people making gut-wrenching end-of-life decisions.

jwest

“I doubt Hayek, had he been aware of today's medical procedures, would have considered end-of-life care uncertain, nor would he have considered it an insurable risk.”

Therein lies the problem. First, defining what is meant by “end-of-life care”. Second, defining an “insurable risk” as something that can restore the individual to some level of parity to what they enjoyed prior to the risk event. Simply delaying the inevitable falls outside of the boundaries of an insurable risk.

Cnubby

((Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision))

doesn't that mean common hazards like earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, mudslides, etc. ?

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