Dr. Kevorkian elevated to sainthood?

Could it be? Is it possible? Did I hear that right?

I couldn't believe my ears when I tuned into 60 minutes last night and was actually hearing the advocating for limited health care for the terminally ill patients in the ICU. After all they are just going to die anyway. It's a "natural progression".

This limiting of health care benefits for the terminally ill to save a few dollars may seem to be a noble and justified approach to some doctors and health care workers, but think of the endless possibilities this could lead to. Have we now started down the path of genetic cleansing? Could your newborn possibly not be able to give as much back to society as the other babies. That diabetes is never going to get better, just go in the corner and die. You with sickle cell.... what are you thinking......no drugs for you. And you that have had a stroke...come on take one for the team...give up and die already.

As crazy as this sounds, it is a definite possibility if you separate one group from another. When you look at the dollar over human life.....it is just a sad place to be. Who is worth living and who is not. I know for sure that I do not want anyone in government to decide that because you never know who could be in the drivers seat next.

So lets take down that annoying Hippocratic oath and hang a pic of ole Dr. K in its place. There that should make life a little easier with the new Obamacare .

No votes yet

I don't really see how terminally ill patients who *want* to die is similar to the government *giving* you a death that you don't want.

If you're trying to advocate individual choice, then isn't it a person's choice to fight to live in any way possible as much as it is a choice to die with dignity and mercy?

What you're trying to compare is "Dr. K's" patients who chose to die with those who might be denied care due to government's ideas of what you should or should not receive in healthcare. I really don't see how the two are the same. Perhaps you could explain further?

In my rambling, I guess what I was trying to say was that it is not for the government or a doctor, to order, coheres, or bully terminally ill patients into end of life choices, and to put them into some kind of guilt trip while they are doing it, all just to save a few bucks when there is no doubt in my mind, that that money could be saved in other places.

The comment that we are all going to die is true, so why treat anyone for anything. Just reeducate us all to teach us to die with dignity. That certainly would solve a lot of problems wouldn't it. Wonder how all those really sick kids with aides feel about that. Hey kid you're never gonna get better, here's a magazine on how to die for idiots, now leave me alone.

And my second part is that doctors take an oath to save life. If that seems to be an arduous task, that just doesn't fulfill his human spirit any longer, get another job.

So a summation; government is bad for health care, Life is good. We are cursed by having the best health care system in the world that can keep anyone alive for any period of time (so it seems). Does it need to be fixed? Probably. Do we need end of life patient choices? Most definitely; and most educated people have already made those. But once again, government in the middle is just plain bad.

Hey but if they do get involved, look out!

it is not natural to have all those extra items.

Welcome to Obama care.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Dr K would make a great GOP doctor:

1. Don't get sick
2. If you do get sick
3. Die quickly

Pink Slip

Too late..he's allready on the death panel...

Conservatives dont advocate euthanasia...killing grandma is a liberal thing...a collective thing...

Just like killing babies...

Collectivists allways go for the weak at first...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

"...killing grandma is a liberal thing...a collective thing..."

What does this even mean?

Euthanasia is advocated by the left...just as is abortion...

The killing of the old and the unborn IS NOT a conservative thing.....

Christ...it's not like it's a damn secret...

"The Case for Killing Granny"

http://www.newsweek.com/id/215291

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

From the (ironically named, but I guess you missed the joke) article:

"My mother wanted to die, but the doctors wouldn't let her. At least that's the way it seemed to me as I stood by her bed in an intensive-care unit at a hospital in Hilton Head, S.C., five years ago. My mother was 79, a longtime smoker who was dying of emphysema. She knew that her quality of life was increasingly tethered to an oxygen tank, that she was losing her ability to get about, and that she was slowly drowning. The doctors at her bedside were recommending various tests and procedures to keep her alive, but my mother, with a certain firmness I recognized, said no. She seemed puzzled and a bit frustrated that she had to be so insistent on her own demise."

"The hospital at my mother's assisted-living facility was sustained by Medicare, which pays by the procedure. I don't think the doctors were trying to be greedy by pushing more treatments on my mother. That's just the way the system works..."

"...the need to spend less money on the elderly at the end of life is the elephant in the room in the health-reform debate. Everyone sees it but no one wants to talk about it. At a more basic level, Americans are afraid not just of dying, but of talking and thinking about death. Until Americans learn to contemplate death as more than a scientific challenge to be overcome, our health-care system will remain unfixable."

"Although demagogued as a "death panel," a program in Wisconsin to get patients to talk to their doctors about how they want to deal with death was actually a resounding success. A study by the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that such conversations between doctors and patients can decrease costs by about 35 percent—while improving the quality of life at the end. Patients should be encouraged to draft living wills to make their end-of-life desires known. Unfortunately, such paper can be useless if there is a family member at the bedside demanding heroic measures. "A lot of the time guilt is playing a role," says Dr. David Torchiana, a surgeon and CEO of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization. Doctors can feel guilty, too—about overtreating patients. Torchiana recalls his unease over operating to treat a severe heart infection in a woman with two forms of metastatic cancer who was already comatose. The family insisted.

"Studies show that about 70 percent of people want to die at home—but that about half die in hospitals. There has been an important increase in hospice or palliative care—keeping patients with incurable diseases as comfortable as possible while they live out the remainder of their lives. Hospice services are generally intended for the terminally ill in the last six months of life, but as a practical matter, many people receive hospice care for only a few weeks."

"Our medical system does everything it can to encourage hope. And American health care has been near miraculous—the envy of the world—in its capacity to develop new lifesaving and life-enhancing treatments. But death can be delayed only so long, and sometimes the wait is grim and degrading. The hospice ideal recognized that for many people, quiet and dignity—and loving care and good painkillers—are really what's called for."

What exactly is so offensive here? You make it sound as though the author of this article is proposing something straight out of "Soylent Green" or "Logan's Run." For crying out loud, no one is suggesting that the elderly be euthanized against their will. Sheesh!

"After all they are just going to die anyway. It's a "natural progression".

Steve, not to belabor an obvious point, but we're all going to die, man. Is it really so controversial to say that death is a "natural" part of life, and maybe there is a point where it isn't worth raging against the dying of the light? Put another way, is it really always the case that any extension of life, no matter how short, is worth any amount of society's resources?

"In my rambling, I guess what I was trying to say was that it is not for the government or a doctor, to order, coheres, or bully terminally ill patients into end of life choices, and to put them into some kind of guilt trip while they are doing it, all just to save a few bucks when there is no doubt in my mind, that that money could be saved in other places."

First off, I don't know who you think is proposing that the government should be able to "order, [coerce] or bully terminally ill patients into end of life choices." I am not familiar with any such proposal, beyond the fever dreams of Glenn Beck and his ilk.

Still, I don't understand what exactly you are advocating for. Do you believe health care is a limitless entitlement? If you don't believe that health care is a limitless entitlement, then at some point a terminally ill patient will be told "that's all you're going to get," whether insurance is private or public. Once a person's own resources run out, what is society expected to do in terms of providing for additional treatment? For example, would you really expect a private insurance company to pay out a million dollars for an expensive series of treatments that may keep an 80 year-old patient alive in a hospital bed for five or six months? If you think it is reasonable for a private insurer to engage in that sort of cost-benefit analysis, than why is it so unreasonable for the government to do the same thing?

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

I'll ask you the same question:

Is society always obligated to pay for medical treatment that may extend a patient's life, no matter how expensive the treatment, and no matter how short the extension of life? Or, should some kind of cost-benefit calculation be employed?

Is there any point where society is justified in saying to a patient, "no, we won't pay for that treatment because it's too expensive compared to the probable benefit in extending your life?" (Of course, private health insurance companies do this every day).

I'll ask you the same question:

Is society always obligated to pay for medical treatment that may extend a patient's life, no matter how expensive the treatment, and no matter how short the extension of life? Or, should some kind of cost-benefit calculation be employed?

------------------------------

Define "society"....you mean Govt right?

The premis for your question is "what is the value of human life"...it's the wrong premis...

Surely any patient is "worth" what was spent on kennedy for him to live a few extra months....

Should his treatment have been rationed?

He was going to die anyways...

"Is there any point where society is justified in saying to a patient, "no, we won't pay for that treatment because it's too expensive compared to the probable benefit in extending your life?"

Rationing...you make the same point over and over...health care is going to be rationed for it to work under obamacare.

"(Of course, private health insurance companies do this every day)."

PROVE IT...show us your work.

And you understand you can sue an insurance company IF they voilate their contract...

You wont be able to sue the Govt when they cut you off...

Right now in the UK cancer patients are being told..."sorry...those drugs just cost too much"...

This even happend HERE in the united states under the oregon STATE insurance program...

This is your future under Govt controlled health care.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

"Define "society"....you mean Govt right?"

No, by "society" I mean just that. Whether health insurance is privately run or run by the government, health care still costs money and needs to be paid for, and there will (by necessity) be some sort of rationing mechanisms. I don't see why the denial of payment for a particular drug or other treatment by a private insurance company is any more or less offensive than a similar denial by a public entity.

"The premis for your question is "what is the value of human life"...it's the wrong premis..."

No, this is *exactly* the question we are forced to ask ourselves. We either believe that health care is a limitless entitlement, or we believe that it ought to be "rationed" in some way. Whether we're talking about a private or public system, there will be some limit on how much we have to spend on health care. Consequently, we have to face difficult questions regarding the allocation of limited resources.

How would you like it if you found out your insurance company paid for every treatment requested by terminally ill patients, regardless of cost and regardless of payoff in quality of life? What do you suppose would happen to the size of your premiums as a result?

"Surely any patient is "worth" what was spent on kennedy for him to live a few extra months....Should his treatment have been rationed?"

Thanks for insinuating that my views on rationing would be influenced by the political ideology of the patient. I guess as far as you're concerned I'm just another little Hitler.

That aside, yes, I would say there should be limits on the amount a insurer (private or public) is expected to pay to keep a terminally ill patient hanging on for some short period of time. As to Kennedy specifically, I don't know enough details about his course of treatment to venture an opinion as to whether "too much" was spent to keep him going. From what I read, I thought the medical focus was keeping him comfortable, rather than expensive radical procedures to keep him hanging on a bit longer. But yeah, I think there should be a limit on what is spent to keep a terminally ill patient hanging on. Do you disagree? Should every request for payment for health care be granted, regardless of cost/benefit considerations?

"And you understand you can sue an insurance company IF they voilate their contract..."

Hmmm...and how many people have been able to successfully sue their insurer for denying claims? Who writes insurance contracts, do you suppose? Top-flight lawyers loyal to insurance companies maybe?

"PROVE IT...show us your work."

Are you seriously asking me to "prove" that private insurance companies routinely deny claims?

A"re you seriously asking me to "prove" that private insurance companies routinely deny claims?"

Nice crab walk...but that isnt what you said...THIS is what you said:

"I'll ask you the same question:

Is society always obligated to pay for medical treatment that may extend a patient's life, no matter how expensive the treatment, and no matter how short the extension of life? Or, should some kind of cost-benefit calculation be employed?

Is there any point where society is justified in saying to a patient, "no, we won't pay for that treatment because it's too expensive compared to the probable benefit in extending your life?" (Of course, private health insurance companies do this every day)."

PROVE IT...prove an insurance company cut of someone from life saving treatment and they died as a result...as you clearly asserted...

You made the claim...put up or shut up.

I already proved that Oregon STATE insurance did that very same thing...but the evil big pharm stepped up to provide the cancer drug to the lady for FREE...

If she were dependent on the state of oregon all she would get is assisted suicide...

The ugly truth is the only human life liberals care about is their own or the life of a murderer...the unborn ,people with cancer ,and the old dont stand a chance when you necromongers get your way...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

"PROVE IT...prove an insurance company cut of someone from life saving treatment and they died as a result...as you clearly asserted..."

Okay, who exactly is moving the rhetorical goalposts? Your gripe about public health care seems to be the concept of "rationing." Since you are so opposed to "rationing," I asked you if you believe health care is a limitless entitlement. We've been at this for nearly two days, and you simply refuse to answer the question. That's probably because you have painted yourself into a corner. You obviously don't want to say that health care is a limitless entitlement (I don't think anyone would argue that), but denying that health care is a limitless entitlement necessarily leads one to accept some form of "rationing." Your jumbled objections notwithstanding, you have yet to explain how denial of claims by private insurance companies is not a form of "rationing." Further, you have yet to explain why there is no reason for concern when private insurance companies deny claims, but it would be some great evil when a government-run insurer does the very same thing.

So now, in another attempt to dodge my questions to you regarding the "rationing" issue, you are now demanding "proof" and trying to make it as difficult as possible by narrowly limiting the proof you want to situations where denial of a claim is the proximate cause of a death. I have no idea why the discussion needs to be limited to situations where a patient dies. Rationing is rationing, even if the decision to deny care has consequences short of death. But whatever, after ten seconds searching on Google I was able to find two stories where patients died after being denied treatment by their insurer:

http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2009/01/06/cigna-insurance-denies-medica...

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/norma-rae-dead-68-after-two-year-...

And, more examples of denial of life-saving treatment, where the patient hasn't died yet:

http://www.kmbc.com/health/4429327/detail.html

http://www.wpri.com/dpp/on_air/local_wpri_street_stories_denied_life_sav...

http://www.badfaithinsurance.org/reference/NBC/NBCToday1998-12-08HumanaH...

But all this is beside the point. Private insurers "ration" health care by denying claims, and they do so based on whatever cost/benefit analysis they have developed. Say what you will, but "rationing" is not something that occurs only in government-run health care systems.

If you want to continue believing that private insurance companies are in the business of granting the medical wish lists of terminally ill people, go ahead on.

"The ugly truth is the only human life liberals care about is their own or the life of a murderer...the unborn ,people with cancer ,and the old dont stand a chance when you necromongers get your way..."

This is a textbook example of what Dave Neiwert refers to as "eliminationist" rhetoric. Take note.

That's right, big Z, liberals are vermin with no regard for human life. That's why you need to pick up a gun and kill as many liberals as you can before the feds take you down.

Is there a Constitutional reason for "Public Healthcare"?

Is there a basis in law for "Public Healthcare" or is it just morally the right thing to do?

Why does the Government want to give America "Public Healthcare"? Is there any reason besides it being morally correct to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves?

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Public Option != Public Healthcare

A lot of people who would go on the public option wouldn't be "those who cannot take care of themselves". There was a time in my life that I would have liked to start my own business, but since my family is uninsurable on the open market, I’ll spend my life working for others.

Also with a public option, I know quite a few 50-60 somethings who love to retire but can’t because they wouldn’t be able to get insurance.

Since your family is "uninsurable on the open market" does that mean I have the responsibility to pay for part of your healthcare? Ted Kennedy already fixed that problem with COBRA. The Democratic Senator, Ted Kennedy, said COBRA would protect you and your family by forcing "big insurance" to cover you.

And, if you were able to open your business, does that mean I will have the responsibility to pay part of your employees healthcare?

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Cobra would be great for about 18 months...

Funny... how the government willing to pay for the doctors time to meet with a patient to talk about end of life wishes is “DEATH PANELS”, but not getting life saving treatment and/or going bankrupt because one doesn’t have insurance is ‘OK’ to you.

We live in a system that people have spaghetti dinners and car washes to raise hundreds of dollars for life saving treatments that cost 10s of thousands.

Because, according to you, it is not OK for someone to go "bankrupt because one doesn’t have insurance". And, to follow through with your logic, is it your responsibility to replace my car if I choose not to have car insurance?

According to you, it is a moral issue because someone shouldn't have to "have spaghetti dinners and car washes to raise hundreds of dollars for life saving treatments that cost 10s of thousands" if they choose not to have health insurance and instead pay for monthly cell phone coverage.

Will you be holding a spagheti dinner in order to buy me a new house since mine burned down and I choose not to have homeowners insurance?

Or is paying for your insurance my responsibility ONLY because you are a person and not an object?

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

You're twice as clueless as I thought. Most people who don't have insurance is not by chose. I choose to have insurance, so I will always have to work for a corporation who provides it too me and if something happens it most likely won't be enough.

Sixty-two percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses, according to a nationwide study released today by the American Journal of Medicine.

Of those who filed for bankruptcy in 2007, nearly 80 percent had health insurance.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/health-care-reform/2009/06/new_study_sh...

BS..that has allready been debunked...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Make up your mind, sensor.

Your keepers are feeding you conflicting information to parrot to the world.

"Sixty-two percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses, according to a nationwide study released today by the American Journal of Medicine."

But during the election, you and your puppet-masters said that bankruptcies filed in 2007 were due to predatory lending.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/03/news/economy/consumer_bankruptcy/index.htm

And the 32% spike THIS YEAR was due to the evil corporations laying off people.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/25/news/economy/bankruptcy/index.htm

Your numbers don't add up. But, since you do not post your references I have to assume you are just typing what your masters in the DNC tell you to parrot like the good little mindless simpleton you are.

 It's funny that you call me "clueless" when I continue to prove you are an uneducated little marionette being controlled by the DNC.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

"Is there a Constitutional reason for "Public Healthcare"? Is there a basis in law for "Public Healthcare" or is it just morally the right thing to do?"

I think you are confusing two distinct issues -- what is constitutionally required vs. what is constitutionally permissible. If what you mean to suggest is that a public health care program is not constitutionally required, I would agree. However, what would be the argument that public health care is not constitutionally permissible?

Can the govt force you to buy health care?

Can the govt force you to buy a chevy?

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

The question isn't whether the government can force us to buy "health care," the question is whether the government can force us to pay health insurance. In this regard, single payer health care wouldn't be very controversial at all. If Medicare is constitutional, then where is the problem in extending that coverage to everyone?

And, merely offering a public option seems even less objectionable...

If free healthcare is in the Constitution, then I apologize. Please show me where in the Constitution it says that the Government should supply healthcare to those who do not have it so I can read it for myself. After all, if it is in the Constitution, then my arguement is moot.

Otherwise, if Public Healthcare is a "moral decison", then I am protected from being forced to participate in your moral need to help those without healthcare by the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court decided in 1965 that religion can be defined as a common moral belief, and providing healthcare to those who do not have it is a common moral belief and therefore infringes on my Freedom From Religion.

In the Supreme Court decision, UNITED STATES v. SEEGER, 380 U.S. 163 (1965).

"Together with No. 51, United States v. Jakobson, on certiorari to the same court, and No. 29, Peter v. United States, on certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

These three cases involve the exemption claims under 6 (j) of the Universal Military Training and Service Act of conscientious objectors who did not belong to an orthodox religious sect. Section 6 (j) excepts from combatant service in the armed forces those who are conscientiously opposed to participation in war by reason of their "religious training and belief," i. e., belief in an individual's relation to a Supreme Being involving duties beyond a human relationship but not essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code. In all the cases convictions were obtained in the District Courts for refusal to submit to induction in the armed forces; in Nos. 50 and 51 the Court of Appeals reversed and in No. 29 the conviction was affirmed. Held:"

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=380&invol=163

In other words, KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF OF MY BODY AND QUIT TRYING TO FORCE YOUR MORAL BELIEFS DOWN MY THROAT YOU RELIGIOUS NUTCASES.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

"If free healthcare is in the Constitution, then I apologize. Please show me where in the Constitution it says that the Government should supply healthcare to those who do not have it so I can read it for myself. After all, if it is in the Constitution, then my arguement is moot."

Wow, I don't remember demanding an apology. I'm just trying to have a conversation here.

Although I am not sure anyone is proposing "free health care" as a policy alternative in the current health care debate, I do agree that the words "free health care" do not appear in the Constitution. I further agree that the Constitution does not *require* the establishment of any sort of national health insurance plan, or other national health care system. However, as I pointed out above, that doesn't mean that the establishment of such a program is not constitutionally *permissible*.

"Otherwise, if Public Healthcare is a "moral decison", then I am protected from being forced to participate in your moral need to help those without healthcare by the First Amendment."

Hmmm, interesting argument. But I'm afraid that a national health care program is not "religious" in any way that implicates First Amendment concerns. Most legislation has some "moral" component in that proponents believe it is the "right" thing to do.

Further, I don't think Seeger stands for the propositions you say it does. First, I don't see any attempt by the Court to definitively define "religion," and the Court certainly does not adopt the broad definition you cite above. Second, Seeger revolves around proper application of the "conscientious objector" statute passed by Congress. For purposes of the statute, Congress defined "religious training and belief" as "an individual's belief in a relation to a Supreme Being involving duties superior to those arising from any human relation, but [not including] essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code." Applying this language, the Court concluded that conscientious objector status does not apply to "those who oppose war from a merely personal moral code, nor those who decide that war is wrong on the basis of essentially political, sociological or economic considerations, rather than religious belief." So, even if the conscientious objector status applied in the context of the health care debate (which it does not), it still wouldn't help you because your objections to national health care are not "religious" within the meaning of that statute.

In short, Seeger offers no support whatsoever for your claim that national health care would be invalid on First Amendment grounds.

In the majority opinion, Justice Clark agrees that an organized religion does NOT preclude people of common moral beliefs.

"....that Seeger did not clearly demonstrate what his beliefs were with regard to the usual understanding of the term "Supreme Being." But as we have said Congress did not intend that to be the test. We therefore affirm the judgment in No. 50. "

In other words, the court agreed that Seeger could dodge the draft based on his moral belief and not based on his inclusion in a recognized organized religion. By claiming he was a "conscientious objector" who did not belong to any "named" religion but was morally compelled to not be drafted, the court therefore defined "a common set of moral beliefs" as religion.

Therefore I say it again. Giving healthcare to those who choose not to purchase it for themselves is A MORAL decision that MUST be prohibited by the First Amendment based on the Supreme Courts definition of "common moral belief" being in itself a religion.

And since "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...", Congress CANNOT pass a law providing healthcare to the "uninsured" because a moral decision like public healthcare would be in direct violation of the First Amendment.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

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