“Death Panels” Alive and Well in the UK – Is US Next?

The UK has a government healthcare system much like the one Obama wants to implement here in the States. It’s run by the National Health Service and is funded mostly by taxes. Different “care pathways” are used to manage each patient’s health depending on the severity of illness. If the patient’s condition is beyond treatable and death is imminent, the patient is put on the “Liverpool Care Pathway for the dying patient” (LCP). The LCP functions much like hospice care here in the US. Its function is to keep patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible in their last hours of life.

Nourishment is provided by tube, strong sedatives such as morphine are administered, and since treatment for their illness is halted, patients usually die within about 33 hours of being placed on the LCP. Nearly 30% of people who die in the hospital every year in the UK are people on the LCP. That’s about 130,000 people. Some are deeply concerned that doctors are taking advantage of this particular care pathway by using it as a tool to euthanize thousands of elderly patients per year.

According to Professor Pullicino, an English neurologist, many patients’ conditions are not properly analyzed prior to being placed on the LCP and are placed there simply to free up beds or to get rid of difficult-to-deal-with elderly patients. Many of these patients could have lived much longer if it weren’t for being put on the LCP prematurely.

A few years ago, some notable doctors and professors in the UK warned that these very scenarios could happen, and that the LCP would be used as a “death pathway” instead of a care pathway. It looks like their warnings were justified because these things are happening now in the UK. Of course, the health department denies that the Liverpool Care Pathway has anything to do with euthanasia or using economic factors in determining who gets placed on the LCP, but why would we trust them?

Former Governor Sarah Palin caused quite a stir in the media a few years ago when she talked about a “death panel” as it related to a section in the ObamaCare legislation that allowed Medicare to pay for patient consultations regarding “end-of-life” issues. A “faceless bureaucracy,” as she called it, would be responsible for deciding who gets to receive care and who doesn’t based on subjective criteria as well as a cost-benefit analysis. Critics on the left called the whole idea of a “death panel” a government conspiracy theory, saying these people were deranged and fear-driven.

And how dare these people even consider the idea that our government would seek to euthanize its weakest citizens in order to “keep costs down.” The legislation itself doesn’t have any mention of “death panels” specifically. It doesn’t mention a bureaucracy either that will decide who will die and who will live. The bill, however, is filled with legalese, so the language is so vague that even the worst possible interpretation would technically be permissible. The media so overreacted that in 2009, “death panel” was PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year,” FactCheck’s “whopper” and the American Dialect Society’s “most outrageous term.” If there was absolutely no truth in Governor Palin’s statements, then why was the provision in question removed from the legislation after the uproar? Sometimes, when the media overreacts, mocks and ridicules to that extent, it means they were trying to cover something up.

Consider these things:

Our government can watch millions of unborn babies being slaughtered without batting an eye, which tells us something about our government’s view of human life. From their perspective, human life itself is not important. There is no “sanctity” of human life. People are just numbers, and right now, we’re “overpopulated.” So, when those numbers get too high, certain measures must be taken in order to make those numbers go down. In fact, Planned Parenthood’s goal from the beginning was to depopulate the black race, which is why their centers were strategically placed near minority neighborhoods. Talk about racism. You definitely won’t hear that on the news. But what you will hear are politicians bemoaning the rise in “teen pregnancies.”

And notice they don’t care one bit about immorality. It’s the numbers they’re worried about. It’s the fact that more people are being born than they want. So they actually encourage immorality . . . as long as those involved use contraceptive devices or at least terminate the unwanted pregnancies in case they have an “accident.” Given that this is the state of mind our government has today, is it really that much of a stretch to think that they would want to decide who receives government healthcare and who doesn’t depending on a cost-benefit analysis? Having the government run the entire healthcare system will require that they keep costs down as much as possible. The more costs go up, the more they have to levy taxes on those paying for their “free healthcare.” Rationing of care will be necessary in order to keep costs down, and since beds and doctors will be limited, some patients will just have to be “let go” while others receive care.

Like the doctors who warned about the potential abuse of the Liverpool Care Pathway, Sarah Palin and others warned us about the death panel here at home under ObamaCare. Are death panels headed in our direction? Perhaps they’re already here.