Sentenced to death for being old

April 8, 2012

Your ObamaCare health consultant

One of the ways socialized medicine controls cost is to ration care, denying treatment when it’s determined not to be “cost-effective.” Particularly vulnerable are the elderly, who tend to need medical services the most but, according to some people (1) with with connections to the president, really haven’t got much time left, anyway, so care given to them would be better-directed toward those with more to contribute to society.

If you want to see how that works out in practice, just look to the UK, where they’ve had socialized medicine under the NHS since the 1940s.

God help you if you grow old, there:

When Kenneth Warden was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, his hospital consultant sent him home to die, ruling that at 78 he was too old to treat.

Even the palliative surgery or chemotherapy that could have eased his distressing symptoms were declared off-limits because of his age.

His distraught daughter Michele Halligan accepted the sad prognosis but was determined her father would spend his last months in comfort. So she paid for him to seen privately by a second doctor to discover what could be done to ease his symptoms.

Thanks to her tenacity, Kenneth got the drugs and surgery he needed — and as a result his cancer was actually cured. Four years on, he is a sprightly 82-year-old who works out at the gym, drives a sports car and competes in a rowing team.

‘You could call his recovery amazing,’ says Michele, 51. ‘It is certainly a gift. But the fact is that he was written off because of his age. He was left to suffer so much, and so unnecessarily.’

There’s much more to read in the article, the thrust of which is about age discrimination. It’s estimated that around 14,000 elderly Britons die because they are denied the care they need because their NHS doctor has decided they’re too old to undergo the therapy. And yet, as the case of Mr. Warden and others show, advances in geriatric medicine and surgery have greatly increased the chances of such treatment succeeding.

Left unspoken in the article is the origin of this discrimination against the elderly: the bureaucratic pressure to cut costs that in turn leads to decisions on who’s worth the expense of treating — and who isn’t.

In other words, “death panels.” And yet they called Sarah Palin an idiot and even told her to “leave the room.”

Seems to me she just looked across the Atlantic and saw the future.

via Peter Robinson at Ricochet

Footnote:
(1) Bioethicists, again. These people are starting to scare me.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Is it just me, or are Global-Warming cultists kind of scary?

March 19, 2012

They laughed me in Vienna, the fools!

You see, to save the Earth and propitiate Gaea, we must re-engineer humanity itself!

Your paper also discusses the use of human engineering to make humans smaller. Why would this be a powerful technique in the fight against climate change?

Liao (1): Well one of the things that we noticed is that human ecological footprints are partly correlated with size. Each kilogram of body mass requires a certain amount of food and nutrients and so, other things being equal, the larger person is the more food and energy they are going to soak up over the course of a lifetime. There are also other, less obvious ways in which larger people consume more energy than smaller people—for example a car uses more fuel per mile to carry a heavier person, more fabric is needed to clothe larger people, and heavier people wear out shoes, carpets and furniture at a quicker rate than lighter people, and so on.

And so size reduction could be one way to reduce a person’s ecological footprint. For instance if you reduce the average U.S. height by just 15cm, you could reduce body mass by 21% for men and 25% for women, with a corresponding reduction in metabolic rates by some 15% to 18%, because less tissue means lower energy and nutrient needs.

Yes, to fight dangerous man-caused climate change (a problem that does not exist), we must all become Keebler Elves.

And that ain’t all, folks! Mr. Liao also discusses creating medicines to make us allergic to red meat, so we won’t… “produce as much methane.”

It’s to save the Earth, you see. And, naturally, this will require world government! Lead, of course, by our intellectual betters, who will still get to fly around to conferences in big CO2-belching jets.

Just lie back and think of Gaea. It will all be over, soon.

via WUWT, where you can read other jaw-dropping highlights.

Footnote:
(1) Dr. Liao is a professor of Philosophy and Bioethics at New York University.  If that rings a bell, it’s because we’ve encountered bioethicists before. I’m beginning to think their use of the word “ethics” is particularly Orwellian.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The ethics of infanticide: not just vile, but evil

March 6, 2012

In a recent issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, two former Oxford ethicists argue that killing a newborn babe is no different from aborting a fetus, because the infant isn’t really a person yet:

[The authors] argued: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.

“We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”

As such they argued it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.

The authors therefore concluded that “what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled”.

They also argued that parents should be able to have the baby killed if it turned out to be disabled without their knowing before birth, for example citing that “only the 64 per cent of Down’s syndrome cases” in Europe are diagnosed by prenatal testing.

Once such children were born there was “no choice for the parents but to keep the child”, they wrote.

“To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”

However, they did not argue that some baby killings were more justifiable than others – their fundamental point was that, morally, there was no difference to abortion as already practised.

They preferred to use the phrase “after-birth abortion” rather than “infanticide” to “emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus”.

Hey, if the infant isn’t a person because they can’t attribute value to their own existence and feel loss if that existence is deprived, why stop there? How about the elderly suffering from senile dementia or Alzheimer’s? Surely they’ve lost the capability of attributing value to their existence, so they’re not people by these standards, right? Might as well let their relatives (or the State) snuff them when they become an “unbearable burden.” And what about severely disabled adults, too? I mean, gee, we’d save society all that money in Medicaid support for group homes. After all, they’re not really people.

Anyone else getting a “Wannsee Conference” vibe (1), or wonder if the authors’ offices didn’t contain idols to Moloch?

Call me “old-fashioned” and “unenlightened,” ignorant of sophisticated ethics, but I have this crazy belief that the right to live is a natural right preexisting Human laws and ethics. It is only to be taken away under the most restricted circumstances, such as in a “just war” or by law after a fair trial as the only way to enact justice after a horrible crime.

Not simply because you might regard the baby as a “burden.”

And what kind of sociopathic lack of empathy does it imply to go through such intellectual gymnastics to arrive at the conclusion that the infant is no longer a person? When does it become a person? When it first smiles? Its first steps? Its first words, when it finally has a chance to say “please don’t kill me?”

“Ethics.” Yeah, these really are some ethics, aren’t they? They’re the fascist ethics of a state that denies the inherent worth of the individual and, when that individual becomes a “burden,” can decide he or she is no longer “really a person” and can thus be disposed of at will.

Like rubbish.

I’m with Walter Russell Mead: while I firmly believe as a federalist that the abortion question in America should be decided on a state-by-state basis until a consensus is reached, if this idea ever gains currency in the US, sign me up for a right-to-life amendment to the US Constitution.

RELATED: This isn’t the first time the ugly idea of “post-natal abortion” has arisen. Read about the Groningen Protocol, which was a recent proposal to allow doctors in the Netherlands to “terminate” the life of a severely disabled child up to the age of 12, with the final decision resting with the doctors, not the parents. And killing your non-person infant after birth is really just one step past aborting fetuses on the basis of gender. Both Hot Air and Power Line were outraged at the JME article. I’m surprised it didn’t get more coverage in the blogosphere.

PS: The linked Telegraph article mentioned that the authors of the JME piece had received death threats for their article. This is as wrong and as vile as their argument itself, as well as being criminal. It is an affront to free speech and academic liberty. The way to fight evil ideas is with counter-argument, not with intimidation and threats of physical harm.

Footnote:
(1) Yeah, at the risk of being accused of “Godwinning,” I went there. These kind of depersonalizing ethics aren’t all that far from the Final Solution.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)