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Government-run Health Care–Hurry Up and Die

Posted by MDViews on January 8, 2009

Chuck Colson is a favorite speaker and author of mine. He may even be a Calvinist, who knows. I know his faith runs deeper than the average evangelical bored with the gospel story and not understanding why living for Christ is so difficult and unsatisfying.

Anyway, in  his Breakpoint radio broadcast from today (which you can read here), he points out the consequences of government-run health care.

It seems an elderly gentleman in England, a country with socialized medicine, has kidney cancer which has spread to his lung. There is an expensive new treatment that would likely give him 6 months of remission, but the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (acronym, NICE, same as the acronym for the evil in Lewis’ That Hideous Strength. What irony.) says he doesn’t qualify. Mr. Colson doesn’t say the reason NICE gave, but implies later in the article that the medicine was too expensive or he was too old. Unfortunately, NICE does not allow this cancer patient to pay for part of the medicine to help him get it, as he could in most other European countries. He is just out of luck.

NICE has total control and decided to throw him under the bus. (Well, actually, just hasten his death, but you get the picture.) Government-run euthanasia by a faceless bureaucracy! How prescient Mr. Lewis was!

Mr. Colson states, “A government that takes upon itself the right to play God is a government that is not safe for its citizens.”

He’s right.

You’ve heard it all before and the chorus will be deafening in the next six months. Health care is too expensive. We must reign in costs. The government needs to take it over, since private health care has failed. (Never mind the rich from all over the world land their 747’s in tiny Rochester, MN, to avail themselves of the best health care in the world at the Mayo Clinic. Private health care, I might add.)

Once the fix is in, the chorus, dear reader, will not change. Health care will still be too expensive, only this time the tax payers will be on the hook. Costs must be reigned in. We must cut back on unnecessary or futile treatments.

But, dear reader, the only way to cut costs is to deny care. The first to be denied with be the most vulnerable, just like Mr. Colson’s story above.

Death is the ultimate cost-containment measure.  For that poor gentleman in England, the Dutch live just across the channel. How long before NICE suggests to patients such as this that a needle in the arm would be easier? Then, how long before NICE insists the a needle in the arm is proper? Then, how long before NICE requires the needle in the arm? Ask Baroness Warnock, a prominent English ethicist and politician, who last year said people with dementia had a duty to die, and has now said that doctors who refuse to help terminally ill patients kill themselves are “genuinely wicked”.

We must, with Mr. Colson, keep sounding the alarm.

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