The person who is perhaps going to end up with the most to say about your “allocation” of health resources if Obamacare passes is Dr. Ezekial Emanuel. Yes, that Emanuel, Raum’s brother. He is also a health-policy advisor in the Office of Management and Budget.
There’s something important you should know about him. I will provide several links to more information on him, but I want to focus on his “complete lives system” which he has written about as recently as January 2009, in The Lancet, a well-known and respected medical journal.
The paper appearing in The Lancet is titled “Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions” and discusses existing methods for determining who gets priority in allocation of limited and scarce medical resources, such as, who gets an organ, who gets the ICU bed, and who gets a vaccine which may be in limited supply. He discusses why each of these are flawed for various reasons, and then proceeds to present his own alternative system–the complete lives system.
Dr. Emanuel’s complete lives system “prioritizes young people who have not yet lived a complete life..” and would be unlikely to without intervention. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Makes some sense, maybe?
He goes on.
“Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. Similarly, adolescence brings with it a developed personality capable of forming and valuing long-term plans whose fulfillment requires a complete life.”
Emanuel then quotes a legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin, who said, “It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old child dies, and worse still when an adolescent does.” Emanuel comments that this argument is supported by empirical surveys.
So what?! Some legal philosopher’s statement is not something to base medical decisions on.
We never know what any individual human is here for, what God’s plan is for that person, regardless of their age.
Besides all that, what “empirical surveys?” Who did they survey?
Tell that to the first-time mother of a six-month-old who dies of SIDS.
So, in his system a teenager or young adult is more valuable, more worthy of receiving medical resources ( which will be in shorter supply) than infants or younger children. I read the entire article, and can summarize it in six words: elderly and infants are least important.
“When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and the oldest get chances that are attenuated.”
That means reduced. But doesn’t “attenuated” sound so much better.
During his paragraphs which point out the advantages to his system over those currently used by Organ Sharing Networks and others, he touts his complete lives system as being “least vulnerable to corruption. Age can be established quickly and accurately from identity documents.”
Those pesky identity documents.
In his closing section he addresses objections that might be raised to his system.
The first objection that he expects would be raised would be charges of “ageism.” His answer?
“Treating 65-year-olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not.”
Well, good. I’m glad he cleared that up.
These are the words of Dr. Ezekial Emanuel, brother to Raum, and special health-care policy advisor in Obama’s administration. My suspicion? He has been officially given a low-key position and title, but in actuality, is much more central than we know. Again, that is only my opinion.
Remember: 15 to 40 years of age. That’s the magic spot.
Guess I’m out of luck. As are my parents, my siblings, most of my friends, and all the members of AARP.
Here’s a great blog post from Freedom Eden, with additional links. Dr. Emanuel has also stated that he thinks doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, and must change their way of thinking about their patients, and think more about social justice. [Hat tip to Gateway Pundit]
Here’s a terrific post on a great blog I just found. Rosita the Prole writes beautifully and has great information. Be sure to read her “about me” page; she tells an enchanting American tale.