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death panels?

death panels?

Postby raycyrx » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:37 am

I don't know about the formation of "death panels" but some of the following information should be kept in mind when discussing such portions of any health care "reform."

In 1996 a second report on euthanasia in Holland (for 1995) was published. In the interim the number of cases where a doctor had made a decision with the intention to hasten death without the patients express request had risen from 15% to almost 20% of the total annual mortality rate of the Netherlands. At the same time, the number of cases of euthanasia, using the narrow Dutch definition, rose from 2,300 to over 3000, a 30% increase in just 5 years.

Here's one from the US:
In 1995 Marjorie Nighbert suffered a stroke and needed a feeding tube, but was not terminally ill. She had told her brother (who was assigned Power of Attorney) that she didn’t want a feeding tube if she was terminally ill. He had her tube removed, but she was still capable of asking for food… AND SHE DID. It went to court and a judge appointed an investigation to determine competence during which feeding resumed. The lawyer heading the investigation reported that while she may have been competent when the starvation started, she wasn’t after several weeks of it. The judge ordered the tube removed and she died on April 6, 1995. ... 60328.html

In the Netherlands, Groningen University Hospital has decided its doctors will euthanize children under the age of 12, if doctors believe their suffering is intolerable or if they have an incurable illness. ... 6jszlg.asp
Notice the date on this article... 2004.

Then there's the somewhat famous "Remmelink report."
The Remmelink Report-- On September 10, 1991, the results of the first, official government study of the practice of Dutch euthanasia were released. The two volume report (6)--popularly referred to as the Remmelink Report (after Professor J. Remmelink, M.J., attorney general of the High Council of the Netherlands, who headed the study committee)--documents the prevalence of involuntary euthanasia in Holland, as well as the fact that, to a large degree, doctors have taken over end-of-life decision making regarding euthanasia. The data indicate that, despite long-standing, court-approved euthanasia guidelines developed to protect patients, abuse has become an accepted norm. According to the Remmelink Report, in 1990:

2,300 people died as the result of doctors killing them upon request (active, voluntary euthanasia).(7)

400 people died as a result of doctors providing them with the means to kill themselves (physician-assisted suicide).(8)

1,040 people (an average of 3 per day) died from involuntary euthanasia, meaning that doctors actively killed these patients without the patients' knowledge or consent.(9)

14% of these patients were fully competent. (10)

72% had never given any indication that they would want their lives terminated. (11)

In 8% of the cases, doctors performed involuntary euthanasia despite the fact that they believed alternative options were still possible. (12)

In addition, 8,100 patients died as a result of doctors deliberately giving them overdoses of pain medication, not for the primary purpose of controlling pain, but to hasten the patient's death. (13) In 61% of these cases (4,941 patients), the intentional overdose was given without the patient's consent.(14)

According to the Remmelink Report, Dutch physicians deliberately and intentionally ended the lives of 11,840 people by lethal overdoses or injections--a figure which accounts for 9.1% of the annual overall death rate of 130,000 per year. The majority of all euthanasia deaths in Holland are involuntary deaths.

The Remmelink Report figures cited here do not include thousands of other cases, also reported in the study, in which life-sustaining treatment was withheld or withdrawn without the patient's consent and with the intention of causing the patient's death. (15) Nor do the figures include cases of involuntary euthanasia performed on disabled newborns, children with life-threatening conditions, or psychiatric patients. (16)

The most frequently cited reasons given for ending the lives of patients without their knowledge or consent were: "low quality of life," "no prospect for improvement," and "the family couldn't take it anymore."(17)

In 45% of cases involving hospitalized patients who were involuntarily euthanized, the patients' families had no knowledge that their loved ones' lives were deliberately terminated by doctors. (18)

According to the 1990 census, the population of Holland is approximately 15 million. That is only half the population of California. To get some idea of how the Remmelink Report statistics would apply to the U.S., those figures would have to be multiplied 16.6 times (based on the 1990 U.S. census population of approximately 250 million).
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Re: death panels?

Postby NewEnglandBuckeye » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:52 pm

Sentenced to death on the NHS
Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors have warned.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.

“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."

Useless eaters? Life unworthy of life?
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Re: death panels?

Postby NewEnglandBuckeye » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:57 pm

Health care reform means more power for the IRS
There's been a lot of discussion about the new and powerful federal agencies that would be created by the passage of a national health care bill. The Health Choices Administration, the Health Benefits Advisory Committee, the Health Insurance Exchange — there are dozens in all.

But if the plan envisioned by President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats is enacted, the primary federal bureaucracy responsible for implementing and enforcing national health care will be an old and familiar one: the Internal Revenue Service. Under the Democrats' health care proposals, the already powerful — and already feared — IRS would wield even more power and extend its reach even farther into the lives of ordinary Americans, and the presidentially-appointed head of the new health care bureaucracy would have access to confidential IRS information about millions of individual taxpayers.

In short, health care reform, as currently envisioned by Democratic leaders, would be built on the foundation of an expanded and more intrusive IRS.

So, they say you living or dying will NOT be a cost benefit analysis choice. Explain that one to me again please.
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Re: death panels?

Postby johndobee » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:49 pm

Shall we revisit Terry Schiavo?
Regardless of the stand, and the outcome, it would be in the hands of those who hold the golden tickets in terms of who gets "healthcare" and who doesn't.
Out of her husbands hands. Out of her parents hands. Into the hands of the chosen panel of political cronies handpicked by the executive branch.
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Re: death panels?

Postby raycyrx » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:57 am

johndobee wrote:Shall we revisit Terry Schiavo?
Regardless of the stand, and the outcome, it would be in the hands of those who hold the golden tickets in terms of who gets "healthcare" and who doesn't.
Out of her husbands hands. Out of her parents hands. Into the hands of the chosen panel of political cronies handpicked by the executive branch.
In other words, the decisions would be in the hands of people who delivered us such a "wildly successful" program this summer that it ran out of funding during the first 3% of its expected lifetime.
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Re: death panels?

Postby Doe » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:35 am

For an interesting take on the subject, read Vonnugut's Welcome To the Monkey House, a short story from from his collection of short stories by the same name. Very scary.
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Re: death panels?

Postby raycyrx » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:45 am

Let's Be Honest About Death Counseling
Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 21, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Let's see if we can have a reasoned discussion about end-of-life counseling.

We might start by asking Sarah Palin to leave the room. I've got nothing against her. She's a remarkable political talent. But there are no "death panels" in the Democratic health care bills, and to say that there are is to debase the debate.

We also have to tell the defenders of the notorious Section 1233 of H.R. 3200 that it is not quite as benign as they pretend. To offer government reimbursement to any doctor who gives end-of-life counseling -- whether or not the patient asked for it -- is to create an incentive for such a chat.

What do you think such a chat would be like? Do you think the doctor will go on and on about the fantastic new million-dollar high-tech gizmo that can prolong the patient's otherwise hopeless condition for another six months? Or do you think he's going to talk about -- as the bill specifically spells out -- hospice care and palliative care and other ways of letting go of life?

No, say the defenders. It's just that we want the doctors to talk to you about putting in place a living will and other such instruments. Really? Then consider the actual efficacy of a living will. When you are old, infirm and lying in the ICU with pseudomonas pneumonia and deciding whether to (a) go through the long antibiotic treatment or (b) allow what used to be called "the old man's friend" to take you away, the doctor will ask you at that time what you want for yourself -- no matter what piece of paper you signed five years ago.

You are told constantly how very important it is to write your living will years in advance. But the relevant question is what you desire at the end -- when facing death -- not what you felt sometime in the past when you were hale and hearty and sitting in your lawyer's office barely able to contemplate a life of pain and diminishment.

Well, as pain and diminishment enter your life as you age, your calculations change and your tolerance for suffering increases. In the ICU, you might have a new way of looking at things.

My own living will, which I have always considered more a literary than legal document, basically says: "I've had some good innings, thank you. If I have anything so much as a hangnail, pull the plug." I've never taken it terribly seriously because unless I'm comatose or demented, they're going to ask me at the time whether or not I want to be resuscitated if I go into cardiac arrest. The paper I signed years ago will mean nothing.

And if I'm totally out of it, my family will decide, with little or no reference to my living will. Why? I'll give you an example. When my father was dying, my mother and brother and I had to decide how much treatment to pursue. What was a better way to ascertain my father's wishes: What he checked off on a form one fine summer's day years before being stricken; or what we, who had known him intimately for decades, thought he would want? The answer is obvious.

Except for the demented orphan, the living will is quite beside the point. The one time it really is essential is if you think your fractious family will be only too happy to hasten your demise to get your money. That's what the law is good at -- protecting you from murder and theft. But that is a far cry from assuring a peaceful and willed death, which is what most people imagine living wills are about.

So why get Medicare to pay the doctor to do the counseling? Because we know that if this white-coated authority whose chosen vocation is curing and healing is the one opening your mind to hospice and palliative care, we've nudged you ever so slightly toward letting go.

It's not an outrage. It's surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it's intended to gently point you in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sick room where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release.

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Re: death panels?

Postby OldFud » Tue May 20, 2014 3:03 pm

News just in time for Memorial Day . . .
VA Delays Are an ObamaCare Death Panel Preview

The scandalous secret waiting lists at Veterans Affairs hospitals are far more widespread than originally thought. The story began in Phoenix, but it soon came to light that facilities in several other states were treating veterans with similar bureaucratic contempt. It's a disgusting disservice to our veterans, and it's virtually certain to become normal for all of us as health care becomes rationed under ObamaCare.

The Albuquerque VA hospital evidently is now the eighth facility to place veterans on secret long waiting lists. A whistleblower says the facility has already destroyed records to cover its tracks.

The nationwide death toll is hard to pinpoint. So far, the VA only admits to 23 deaths due to delayed care, but there are allegedly 40 in Phoenix alone and the overall number will grow as more information is discovered. In fact, Dayton Daily News points to VA settlements with the families of veterans who died waiting for treatment: "A database of paid claims by the VA since 2001 includes 167 in which the words 'delay in treatment' is used in the description. The VA paid out a total of $36.4 million to settle those claims, either voluntarily or as part of a court action." So if that's accurate, it's 167 deaths and counting.

As unbelievable as it may seem, the Obama administration recycled one of its tried and false defenses -- that Barack Obama only just found out about the mess from media reports. White House Propaganda Minister Jay Carney said Monday, "I believe we learned about them through the reports. I'll double-check if that's not the case, but that's when we learned about them." The White House said the same thing about the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, eavesdropping on the Associated Press, the unprepared state of and so on, and so on.

If it were true that Obama only just found out, how is that a defense? Who is running his administration? Is Obama really just an innocent bystander? The alternative is no better -- the White House is lying.

In fact, the administration's transition team was alerted to the VA's problems in late 2008, and again in 2013. And in 2007, aspiring president Barack Obama blasted George W. Bush's Department of Veterans Affairs, saying, "After seven years of an administration that has stretched our military to the breaking point, ignored deplorable conditions at some VA hospitals, and neglected the planning and preparation necessary to care for our returning heroes, America's veterans deserve a president who will fight for them not just when it's easy or convenient, but every hour of every day for the next four years."

As president in 2009 Obama proclaimed to veterans, "We're going to cut those backlogs, slash those wait times, deliver your benefits soon. I know you've heard this for years but the leadership and resources we are providing this time means that we're going to be able to do it. That is our mission and we're going to make it happen."
Fast forward to 2012, when Obama said, "For the first time ever, we've made military families and veterans a top priority not just at DOD, not just at the VA, but across the government." The dozens of Patriots who were willing to give their lives defending their country, but died from negligence instead, beg to differ.

While VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is "mad as hell," Obama is reportedly "*madder* than hell." In fact, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough insists, "[N]obody is more outraged about this problem right now." But Obama has yet to really address the matter, other than to make a show of firing Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health in the VA, who was set to retire later this year anyway and whose replacement had already been named.

Obama just found out? Check.
He's angry? Check.
He symbolically fired somebody? Check.

Columnist Arnold Ahlert has the bottom line: "[W]hile the political machinations, the hearings, the media stories and the investigations play themselves out, men and women who served this nation -- and in many cases paid an extremely heavy price for that highly honorable commitment -- are getting the short end of the stick. The very least this nation owes our veterans is timely healthcare, not a litany of excuses and stonewalling from a dysfunctional and very likely corrupt bureaucracy. One like every other government bureaucracy, where self-preservation matters above all else. If there is little else Americans learn form this scandal, it should be noted that this is the true face of government-run healthcare, in all its 'individual be damned' glory. If the government can treat 8.57 million veterans this shabbily, imagine how they will treat Americans forced to enroll in ObamaCare."

The Left mocked the idea of ObamaCare "death panels," but the VA offers a sad preview of that very thing. It's what bureaucracies do, and it's one big reason why citizens' health care is no business of the federal government. In 2003, Obama declared, "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program." The VA is exactly what that will look like.

Source: Daily Digest
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