Posts tagged hospice
Two years ago, as Congress was engaged in heated debate over the legislation that would eventually become the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, also called, disparagingly, “Obamacare”), ex-half-Governor and failed Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin weighed in with her view: the legislation would include, in her famous phrase, “death panels”.
Of course, it’s not just this one provision that presents a problem. My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff [current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel]. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those ‘who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens…An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.’ Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which ‘produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.’
Unfortunately, the ensuing debate over end-of-life issues and the financing of health care for all Americans was characterized by an increasing amount of heat (“You Lie!”) and very little light from that point forward.
Was Sarah Palin right? (more…)