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May 11, 2010

Will Cost of Medical Care Force Us to Let the Elderly Die?

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Thomas Sowell points out that much of what is taught in our schools and colleges today seeks to break down traditional values and replace them with more fancy and fashionable notions, of which "a duty to die" is just one. Given the passage of Obamacare and the liberals' control of Congress, haven't we already taken the first step toward "dying being a duty" of the elderly?

Sowell writes in "A Duty to Die":

There was a time when some desperately poor societies had to abandon the elderly to their fate, but is that where we are today?

One of the many fashionable notions that have caught on among some of the intelligentsia is that old people have "a duty to die" rather than become a burden to others.

This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table. Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. Moreover, it seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when American medical care is taken over by the government.

Make no mistake about it, letting old people die is a lot cheaper than spending the kind of money required to keep them alive and well. If a government-run medical system is going to save any serious amount of money, it is almost certain to do so by sacrificing the elderly.

There was a time -- fortunately, now long past -- when some desperately poor societies had to abandon old people to their fate, because there was just not enough margin for everyone to survive. Sometimes the elderly themselves would simply go off from their families and communities to face their fate alone.

But is that where we are today?

Read more ...

Actually, one doesn't have to look very long and hard for an answer to the question of "Are we there yet." All one has to do is recall the time Jane Sturm told Barack Obama that her mother had needed a pacemaker implanted at 100 years of age, but got denied by the first doctor she saw. She found a doctor who would do the surgery, impressed by her spirit. When Sturm asked Obama if her mother would have received a pacemaker under ObamaCare ... Obama told her "I don't think that we can make judgments based on peoples' spirit ... "Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking painkillers.":

As Ed Morrissey points out, although Obama says that "ultimately, that decision will be between doctors and patients" at the end of this video, he's making it clear that it won't be at all, but will be decided by a government official who will judge whether or not to pay for a procedure based on its effectiveness. And Sturm's mother still wouldn't have been helped by a painkiller.

Obama's message is clear - let the old folks die - pain killers are cheaper than treating them.

Posted by Richard at May 11, 2010 11:10 AM

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