Arlen Specter Inadvertently Validates “Death Panel” Fear; “Your Life, Your Choices”
A guide for injured veterans called “Your Life, Your Choices” has come under scrutiny. According to Foxnews, the guide was pulled under the Bush Administration because it sends a “hurry-up-and-die” message to injured veterans. It has been resuscitated under the Obama Administration.
Its so offensive that even Arlen Specter has called for immediate hearings on the guide. Specter must have called for the hearings on the government issued guide, while he took a break from advocating for the government take over of health care. (Arlen off his meds.)
There is a lot of questionable content in the guide. There may be some value in helping injured veterans deal with issues like wills and proxies. But the authors of this guide crossed a line. One example is when they set up a checklist to help veterans decide whether life is worth living:
To help others make sense out of your answers, think about the following questions and be sure to explain your answers to your loved ones and health care providers. If you checked “worth living, but just barely” for more than one factor, would a combination of these factors make your life “not worth living?” If so, which factors?
If you checked “not worth living,” does this mean that you would rather die than be kept alive?
If you checked “can’t answer now,” what information or people do you need to help you decide?
a. I can no longer walk but get around in a wheelchair.
b. I can no longer get outside—I spend all day at home.
c. I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being.
d. I am in severe pain most of the time.
e. I have severe discomfort most of the time
f. I rely on a feeding tube to keep me alive.
g. I rely on a kidney dialysis machine to keep me alive.
h. I rely on a breathing machine to keep me alive.
i. I need someone to help take care of me all of time.
j. I can no longer control my bladder.
k. I can no longer control my bowels.
l. I live in a nursing home.
m. I can no longer think clearly-I am confused all the time.
n. I can no longer recognize family/friends
o. I can no longer talk and be understood by others.
p. My situation causes severe emotional burden for my family
q. I am a severe financial burden on my family.
r. I cannot seem to “shake the blues.”
s. Other (write in):
Post war injuries and adjustments are traumatic enough for veterans and their families. Government bureaucrats should be sensitive to their needs without suggesting that life might not be worth living because they “can no longer think clearly” or because they “cannot seem to shake the blues.”
This is just one example. The entire guide is loaded with questionable content and should be pulled. For once, Arlen Specter serves a useful purpose. There shouldn’t be much resistance here.
But this is also an example of what happens when you involve government bureaucrats in health care. This validates those who fear “death panels”. There is a long distance between the broad intentions behind a piece of legislation and its actual implementation on the ground.
Some Democrats know the end game. Other Blue Dogs and Republicans may be naïve. They dismiss the slippery slope arguments and assume the best of intentions. But they must understand that good intentions are not enough.
This thousand page bill will be accompanied by thousands and thousands of pages of implementing regulations. Those implementing regulations will be enforced by a small army of bureaucrats.
Legislators can’t assume that illegal aliens will be excluded. They can’t assume abortions will not be covered. And they can’t assume that there will be no “death panels”. This guide bears witness to bureaucratic incompetence and insensitivity. Presently, there is enough ambiguity in the House Bill that could lead to the implementation of a kind of “death panel”.
Specter’s fears are justified. But he should know that the same people who pushed the “hurry-up-and-die” attitude in this guide are the same people he wants to run our health care from cradle to grave. No Thanks
Foxnews Link Here