January 25, 2013

"When it comes to end of life decisions, the state does not love you"

When it comes to end of life decisions, the state does not love you

Put another way, this man and the NPR host who interviewed him were both certain that Americans, when given the choice, would cheerfully throw Grandma from the train in order to save some money.  Europeans, the Dutchman explained, with their cradle to grave care, would never be pressured into killing themselves.  The beneficent state would pay all the medical bills, so money would not be an issue when it came to life and death decisions.  The only thing that would matter in Europe, said this Dutchman, was the terminally ill person’s wishes.
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History has revealed that this Dutchman was absolutely and completely wrong. In America, people have willingly bankrupted themselves to save beloved family members.  Mammon becomes meaningless when an extra treatment might give your child or a young mother a few more days, weeks, or years of life.  People have hearts and souls.  They connect to others, especially to those in their families.

It’s very different in socialist states, where euthanasia is the name of the game, often without the patient’s, or her family’s, agreement.  In England, thousands of terminally ill people were hastened to their deaths by the Liverpool Care Pathway.  It was meant to be a national hospice program that provided palliative care to the terminally ill in their final days.  What ended up happening, of course, when the National Health Service started running out of money is that thousands (even tens of thousands) of elderly patients who were terminally ill, but weren’t anywhere near death’s door, were hastened to their deaths.  They had become too expensive or just too difficult to manage.
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It turns out that, twenty-odd years ago, when I heard that Dutchman speak, he had failed to consider two pertinent facts:  First, socialist states invariably run out of money once they finally destroy their productive class; and second, the state has neither heart nor soul.  To you, Patient X is your beloved mother, or brother, or child.  To the state, Patient X is an unnecessary cost to an already strained system.

Bookworm has it exactly right.  Take a look at these recent stories.

Belgium looks at euthanasia for minors, Alzheimer's sufferers

60,000 patients put on death pathway without being told but minister still says controversial end-of-life plan is 'fantastic'

Pathway involves the sick being sedated and usually denied nutrition and fluids
Families kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said pathway was a 'fantastic step forward'
Anti-euthanasia group said: ‘The Pathway is designed to finish people off double quick'

Britain opens inquiry into allegations involving that  end-of-life protocol is operating as a euthanasia pathway

Now sick babies go on death pathway: Doctor's haunting testimony reveals how children are put on end-of-life plan

NHS millions for controversial care pathway  The majority of NHS hospitals in England are being given financial rewards for placing terminally-ill patients on a controversial “pathway” to death.

Victory for care pathway families: Minister pledges new law so patients can't be put on end-of-life regime without consulting relatives

Liverpool Care Pathway Used as Euthanasia

The Liverpool Care Pathway, which was supposed to be restricted to sedating patients whose pain could not otherwise be controlled, has mutated into a form of euthanasia. Not only are UK hospitals paid to to put patients “on the Pathway,” but it has become increasingly clear that it is being misused as a form of euthanasia.
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This means that at least some patients who can still eat and drink, are put into comas and deprived of sustenance. That is appropriate when a patient can no longer assimilate food or water at the very end of life.  But making it so they can’t eat or drink water by mouth and then depriving them of the sustenance needed to keep them alive, is killing.  And it hasn’t been restricted to the imminently dying. I don’t know what else to call it but backdoor euthanasia.

Jeremy Hunt orders an inquiry into the Liverpool Care Pathway, and says patients and relatives must be consulted. But will the doctors pay any attention?

Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister

Posted by Jill Fallon at January 25, 2013 12:25 PM | Permalink