T Nation

Health Care Rationing

By JAMES TOZER

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial ‘death pathway’.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been given the correct treatment.

(Full story at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1219853/My-husband-beaten-cancer-doctors-wrongly-told-returned-let-die.html )

“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” – Barack Obama, in response to learning of a grandmother’s successful pacemaker surgery at age 99.

I ration my own health care based on my currently available resources.

I don’t want someone else to tell me what treatment I or one of my loved ones can or cannot have. That is health care slavery not health care freedom.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
By JAMES TOZER

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial ‘death pathway’.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been given the correct treatment.

(Full story at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1219853/My-husband-beaten-cancer-doctors-wrongly-told-returned-let-die.html )

“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” – Barack Obama, in response to learning of a grandmother’s successful pacemaker surgery at age 99.
[/quote]

It is one of the few cardinal rules of oncology: “Always prove a first recurrence.” That it was violated in this case is astounding, but not a surprise:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574412680569936844.html

The article to which the author referred indicated that 16.5% of all deaths in Britain are due to “terminal sedation;” i.e., a euphemism for euthanasia.
(Somehow, I have never had to resort to this “procedure.”)

This is the institutionalization of neglect and elder abuse, assuaged by economic directive.

Yay public option!!

Death panels?!? Why, we won’t have any ‘death panels’! You are a liar! What we will have is Dignity of Life panels!

And besides, usually you won’t get a panel at all, but a single bureaucrat making the call on whether you qualify for the surgery or should be relegated to the painkillers.

So stop lying already! Grandma’s going to get great care, we have no death panels.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
<<< This is the institutionalization of neglect and elder abuse, assuaged by economic directive. >>>[/quote]

Assuaged? That’s really where it’s at isn’t it?

At the heart of every one of these debates on social spending, regardless of the specific issue, is the notion that the “objective” judgment of emotionally disinterested, but financially empowered bureaucrats leads to a superior state of community affairs. Every ant for the colony. Of course history features a comprehensive catalog of data clearly indicating that the ants won’t long work voluntarily primarily for the colony to their own individual detriment. The options that follow are what we spent the entire cold war defeating.

The entropy of human character, even when or maybe exactly because responsible freedom is handed to them by accident of birth, is truly astonishing. Let the surf get rough and they will hand it away every time on the promise that the latest savior will rescue them. The eye popping irony here is that it is the very INDIVIDUAL will to survive that drives the ants to throw their lives allegedly into the colony.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]pushharder wrote:


[/quote]

The guy makes some great points.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
By JAMES TOZER

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial ‘death pathway’.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been given the correct treatment.

(Full story at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1219853/My-husband-beaten-cancer-doctors-wrongly-told-returned-let-die.html )

“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” – Barack Obama, in response to learning of a grandmother’s successful pacemaker surgery at age 99.
[/quote]

Yes, this is an example of a fuck up. Fuck ups happen whether something is funded by the government (through taxes), a charity (as in this case) or the individual.

Obviously if you can afford to go to an expensive private hospital you would expect a lower number of fuck ups.

Reading the report, the payout seems to be insultingly low if the hospice was totally at fault which makes me wonder if maybe the mail (a pretty crap newspaper) isn’t distorting things a little in the reporting.

Why the hell the president is even commenting on issues of surgery vs pain killers is beyond me. I do not give out medical advice because I know I am not qualified to (other than get your ass to the doctor). Can this president be so humble as to do the same?

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Can this president be so humble as to do the same?[/quote]

Are you questioning the Anointed One’s judgment?

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Why the hell the president is even commenting on issues of surgery vs pain killers is beyond me. I do not give out medical advice because I know I am not qualified to (other than get your ass to the doctor). Can this president be so humble as to do the same?[/quote]

I see you question the divine inspiration of Obamas thoughts and actions.

Again.

[quote]orion wrote:
MaximusB wrote:
Why the hell the president is even commenting on issues of surgery vs pain killers is beyond me. I do not give out medical advice because I know I am not qualified to (other than get your ass to the doctor). Can this president be so humble as to do the same?

I see you question the divine inspiration of Obamas thoughts and actions.

Again.

[/quote]

He was asked specifically by a woman who recounted the story of her grandmother, now 104 but 99 at the time, for whom the doctors at first said she was too old for the pacemaker, but they found a doctor who considered her personally and saw that she was still full of life, so to speak, and decided to do the operation. With complete success.

The woman wanted to know whether Obama’s health care would just go by the book in cases like this, or would there be individual evaluation based on how the person seemed to be doing. Obama gave a lengthy response about how spirit could not be measured and so forth, that there are types of cases where studies have shown that given procedures are (on average, but he did not say that) not worth doing, and concluded with the statement that the woman and her mom should be told that maybe it would be better to not have the surgery but just have the painkillers.

He can’t be faulted for answering the question. But his answer revealed that he is in agreement with such answers from government healthcare.

[quote]Cockney Blue wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
By JAMES TOZER

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial ‘death pathway’.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been given the correct treatment.

(Full story at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1219853/My-husband-beaten-cancer-doctors-wrongly-told-returned-let-die.html )

“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” – Barack Obama, in response to learning of a grandmother’s successful pacemaker surgery at age 99.

Yes, this is an example of a fuck up. Fuck ups happen whether something is funded by the government (through taxes), a charity (as in this case) or the individual.

Obviously if you can afford to go to an expensive private hospital you would expect a lower number of fuck ups.

Reading the report, the payout seems to be insultingly low if the hospice was totally at fault which makes me wonder if maybe the mail (a pretty crap newspaper) isn’t distorting things a little in the reporting.[/quote]

The UK does not pay medical damages on the order of the payments seen in the US.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Cockney Blue wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
By JAMES TOZER

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial ‘death pathway’.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been given the correct treatment.

(Full story at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1219853/My-husband-beaten-cancer-doctors-wrongly-told-returned-let-die.html )

“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” – Barack Obama, in response to learning of a grandmother’s successful pacemaker surgery at age 99.

Yes, this is an example of a fuck up. Fuck ups happen whether something is funded by the government (through taxes), a charity (as in this case) or the individual.

Obviously if you can afford to go to an expensive private hospital you would expect a lower number of fuck ups.

Reading the report, the payout seems to be insultingly low if the hospice was totally at fault which makes me wonder if maybe the mail (a pretty crap newspaper) isn’t distorting things a little in the reporting.

The UK does not pay medical damages on the order of the payments seen in the US.

[/quote]

I am from the UK, I know that but 18 grand does seem to be a pitiful payout.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Why the hell the president is even commenting on issues of surgery vs pain killers is beyond me. I do not give out medical advice because I know I am not qualified to (other than get your ass to the doctor). Can this president be so humble as to do the same?[/quote]

The concept of humility is above his pay grade.

On rationing in Oregon, Canada and Britain:

Note what my British friend, Dr. Sikora, has to say about rationing and the elderly and Health Care as a political weapon:

The experiences of the United Kingdom and Canada with publically funded medicine may or may not mean much in the United States. Although Americans, in theory, said there should be a limit to health care spending, as Oregonâ??s experience shows, the public may not be willing to put that belief into practice. â??That said, no system, not even your system at three times the expenditure (of the United Kingdom), is a bottomless pit,â?? Sikora said. â??It will run out of money in the end.â??
So, how does the United States cut its health care bill and simultaneously insure another 45 million people? Earle said a public system should be, at a minimum, worthy of consideration. Sikora said he believes that single-payer systems are on the way out because they become too expensive and because they become political weapons for whichever party holds power.
â??Theyâ??re doomed everywhere in the world because they just become inefficient and bureaucratic,â?? Sikora said. â??Older people consume the most health care in any system in the world, while generally paying lower taxes. That means if youâ??ve got a tax-based system like ours, the only way you can get more money into the system is by levying heavier taxes on the younger people. You get to the point where the younger people rebel because theyâ??re asked to pay for the health care costs of older people who are paying less tax. That canâ??t work long term.â??
Instead, Sikora envisions a system that blends aspects of the United States and the United Kingdom systems to provide universal coverage without wrecking the economy.
â??Itâ??ll have multiple competing providers and multiple competing insurers,â?? Sikora said. â??What weâ??re going to try to stay away from is this rigid fee-for-service structure you have which is very expensive, especially if physicians get financial reward for installing and using equipment. Our system is not the answer, but you could blend some of the best features of American medicine and British medicine and come up with a scheme.â??

How about, if you want multiple hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to be spent on your end-of-life care, having the money to pay for it or having made the arrangements over time to pay for a policy that will pay for such?