WHO IS CARING FOR OUR ELDERLY? Nina D. Rhea, editor, West Coast Pro-Life.
As you read these quotes by people in the field of reporting on or making policy for end-of-life care, remember that the Government has assumed the role which was previously the responsibility of a Family Member. Through contraceptives and abortion, America has turned her back on raising large families (five or more children), members of which ought to care for the elderly. Do you want your days to end in the company of strangers who have doubtful empathy?
Click on their names for the quote source.
PAUL HSIEH, Reporter
‘End-of-life counseling per se is not synonymous with “death panels.” However, this can become a problem if doctors are also under hidden incentives to limit care in the name of “cost effectiveness.” Doctors are increasingly being rewarded (or punished) for their adherence to “appropriate care” guidelines — with “appropriate” defined by government entities. (For example, in my own field of radiology, reimbursement from Medicare will be linked to adhering to “appropriateness criteria” starting in 2017.’)
DR. JOANNE LYNN, Geriatric Physician. Now at Altarum and a Hastings Fellow. Author of ‘Sick To Death’ a book for public policy background on why end-of-life care is critical to national healthcare strategy. The complete book is available free at Growth House an end-of-life health care education resource.
‘Talk of “rationing” health care has an ominous ring to the public and, as a result, to politicians. Nevertheless, more treatments now successfully extend life for people who have very limited life spans and life possibilities. All of us, and our political leadership especially, must address questions of balance and merit (Callahan 1998) [Hastings]. Failing to do so forces us to go on as we are now – unable to talk about acceptable deaths, extended but undesirable life conditions, or priorities among social investments. If we cannot limit the distortions possible from providing very high-cost treatments mostly aimed at people in the last tenth of their lives, then we may shave away or deny funding for aides, nurses, housing, and other fundamentals.’
DANIEL CALLAHAN, Co-Founder of The Hastings Center for Bioethics and Policy. He is an elected member of the Advisory Council, Office of Scientific Responsibility, Department of Health and Human Services. In recent years, he has focused his attention on ethics and health policy.
At age 83 he got life-saving health treatment . . . but he’s against it. He endorses healthcare rationing for the elderly.
“Even if anti-aging research could give us radically longer lives someday, though, should we even be seeking them? Regardless of what science makes possible, or what individual people want, aging is a public issue with social consequences, and these must be thought through.
“Consider how dire the cost projections for Medicare already are. In 2010 more than 40 million Americans were over 65. In 2030 there will be slightly more than 72 million, and in 2050 more than 83 million. The Congressional Budget Office has projected a rise of Medicare expenditures to 5.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2038 from 3.5 percent today, a burden often declared unsustainable.
“Modern medicine is very good at keeping elderly people with chronic diseases expensively alive. At 83, I’m a good example. I’m on oxygen at night for emphysema, and three years ago I needed a seven-hour emergency heart operation to save my life. Just 10 percent of the population — mainly the elderly — consumes about 65 percent of health care expenditures, primarily on expensive chronic illnesses and end-of-life costs.
“Is there any evidence that more old people will make special contributions now lacking with an average life expectancy close to 80? We may properly hope that scientific advances help ensure, with ever greater reliability, that young people manage to become old people. We are not, however, obliged to help the old become indefinitely older. Indeed, our duty may be just the reverse: to let death have its day.”
Comments by Nina D. Rhea, editor, West Coast Pro-Life:
Daniel Callahan is free to speak his mind about how he wishes to live or die. But he is in the very powerful and influential health policy industry known as medical ethics. Callahan is a pro-abortion dissenting Catholic. A brief look at his background:
- From 1961 to 1968, Callahan worked as executive editor of Commonweal, a [ very liberal ] Catholic journal of opinion. He also was a researcher for the Population Council, receiving grants from the Council and the Ford Foundation in 1968 to study ethical issues in family planning and population control. [ The Population Council was founded by John D. Rockefeller. ]
This page updated on 07/20/2015.