Monday, March 2, 2009

Hey Doc, Your License Says MD Not GOD

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Hillary Clinton made a fiasco of her attempt to institute a national health care system. Detractors pointed out that national health systems do not deliver the healthcare excellence that they purport to do and fall far short of private medical health care systems. Pres. Obama is about to launch his own national healthcare system and there is no reason to suppose that it will be any better than the British National Healthcare System. Here’s a 2006 report about British doctors rationing health care and hastening the deaths for people deemed unworthy of receiving care.

New figures reveal that 3,000 patients were helped to die by doctors breaking the law in the UK last year, and 192,000 people had their deaths accelerated by medics. Midland doctor RITA PAL accuses medics of playing God with people's lives. 1

…idealistic values have little place in today's NHS. Hospitals are so under-staffed and under-funded that they become treatment factories condoning a 'survival of the fittest' policy. 1

The elderly, disabled, confused - those who are least able to form a rapport with doctors - become an intolerable burden on an over-stretched health system.1

Before long, a consultant will make the decision to withdraw treatment in their 'best interests'.1

The decision is actually based on an assessment of the patient's quality of life versus the potential resource consumption. Unfortunately, the assessment is rarely either detailed or objective. 1

Doctors are so busy and tired that they make subjective decisions nfluenced
by their own culture, upbringing and opinions.1

If the patient's condition does not permit a quality of life that the doctor would personally find acceptable, it is assumed that the life is not worth living and treatment is withdrawn.1
These decisions are often unknown to relatives. 1
I hear the justification of 'best interests' echoed through every NHS ward. I often turn away and wonder how death could possibly be considered in the patient's 'best interest'.1

The foregoing article articulates serious shortcomings in socialized medicine. I had some of the same observations and suspicions during a recent experience in a Southern California hospital where my 92 year old aunt was being treated. I wrote about the experience, and the piece is entitled, “How Shall My Aunt Die?”

My aunt’s attending hospital doctor appears to be Persian. Could he be injecting Middle Eastern cultural bias into his medical judgment? If it had been my uncle in similar circumstances, would the doctor recommend the same course of action?

Then again, maybe the doctor got his medical training in the U.K. and he was simply expressing the national healthcare model and my aunt was the unfortunate victim of “benevolent” socialized medical thinking.

Links in this Blog:
1. Doctors playing God with lives

2. How Shall My Aunt Die?

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