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Not Death Panels, Just The Grim Reaper

By The Reverend Published: August 23, 2009

Charles Krauthammer, writing about end-of-life counseling, also known as 'Obama's attempt to kill old people'....... from today's Beacon.....

It's just that we (those favoring offering end-of-life counseling reimbursed by Medicare) want the doctors to talk to you about putting in place a living will and other such instruments. Really? Then consider the actual efficacy of a living will. When you are old, infirm and lying in the ICU with pseudomonas pneumonia and deciding whether to (a) go through the long antibiotic treatment or (b) allow what used to be called ''the old man's friend'' to take you away, the doctor will ask you at that time what you want for yourself — no matter what piece of paper you signed five years ago.

No need then, says Krauthammer, for a living will......not until you're almost dead..."old, infirm....with pseudomonas pneumonia."

Krauthammer 4 years ago....

"If I were in Terri Schiavo's condition, I would not want a feeding tube. But Schiavo does not have the means to make her intentions known. We do not know what she would have wanted. We have nothing to go on. No living will, no advance directives, no durable power of attorney.".

End-of-life counseling for Medicare patients wouldn't have stopped the Schiavo tragedy....but it can surely attenuate many tragedies-to-come. Human tragedies that could be prevented by making decisions ahead of time on end-of-life options. Not when you are almost dead, like Krauthammer suggests....but when you're amongst the living.

Krauthammer, again from 2005....

"Let's be clear about her condition. She is not dead. If she were brain-dead, we would be talking about harvesting her organs. She is a living, breathing human being. Some people have called her a vegetable. Apart from the term being disgusting, how do they know? How can we be sure of the complete absence of any consciousness, any awareness, any anything "inside" this person?"

End-of life counseling is meant for the specific purpose of preventing people like Krauthammer from making those decisions for us, you know, on pious, self-righteous, super-morality based whims...quietly dressed up in political garments.

Today's Krauthammer....

"My own living will, which I have always considered more a literary than legal document,....

I've never taken it terribly seriously because unless I'm comatose or demented, they're going to ask me at the time whether or not I want to be resuscitated if I go into cardiac arrest. The paper I signed years ago will mean nothing."

"Unless I'm comatose or demented".....savor that thought for a moment.

That's the whole f*cking argument, Charles, you dumbass......If seniors are offered voluntary end-of-life counseling, reimbursed by Medicare...then, if a sick person becomes "comatose or demented", the loose ends have already been covered....wishes known.

What group of people have the highest chances of becoming "comatose or demented", Charles? Wouldn't it be the freaking seniors on Medicare?

Then the wheelchaired ClusterFox contributor tells us what's really on his mind...

"So why get Medicare to pay the doctor to do the counseling? Because we know that if this white-coated authority whose chosen vocation is curing and healing is the one opening your mind to hospice and palliative care, we've nudged you ever so slightly toward letting go.

It's not an outrage. It's surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health-care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it's intended to gently point you in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sick room where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release."

All that after the Washington Post columnist opened his piece with this...

"But there are no ''death panels'' in the Democratic health-care bills, and to say that there are is to debase the debate."

Krauthammer's logic.....assuming he uses any, that is,.....?

End of life counseling reimbursed by Medicare is not a "death panel".....oh, no....it is "pressure...to point you in a certain direction...where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand..."

But, by god, Charles is not saying Obama's health care reform includes "death panels." No, no. He's much, much too sophisticated and thoughtful for that.

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