Of course, this would never happen here because, well, our congress would never let it:
Remember the whole controversy over "death panels" - the idea, as President Obama dismissively put it, that greater government control over medicine would cause bureaucrats to "pull the plug on grandma"? Well, for weeks now Britain's newspapers have been filled with articles about the National Health Service pulling the plug on grandma.
The latest is the story of a woman who had to fight her doctors for weeks after they withdrew care from her 80-year-old mother. According to the London Times:
Hazel Fenton, from East Sussex, is alive nine months after medics ruled she had only days to live, withdrew her antibiotics, and denied her artificial feeding. The former school matron had been placed on a controversial care plan intended to ease the last days of dying patients.
Doctors say Fenton is an example of patients who have been condemned to death on the Liverpool care pathway plan. They argue that while it is suitable for patients who do have only days to live, it is being used more widely in the NHS, denying treatment to elderly patients who are not dying.
Fenton's daughter describes the NHS system for dealing with very ill elderly patients as "a subterfuge for legalized euthanasia of the elderly." In other words, a death panel.
There are more such accounts at the link of how the government health system in England churns out one horror after another. This is the fate to which the cheerleaders for a public option would consign us. After all, why should the English be the only ones to enjoy such blessings?
Then there's British literary figure Martin Amis who wants euthanasia booths on every street corner:
The novelist Martin Amis has called for euthanasia booths on street corners, where elderly people can end their lives with "a martini and a medal".
The author of Time's Arrow and London Fields even predicts a Britain torn by internal strife in the 2020s if the demographic time bomb of the ageing population is not tackled head-on.
"How is society going to support this silver tsunami?" he asks in an interview in The Sunday Times Magazine today.
"There'll be a population of demented very old people, like an invasion of terrible immigrants, stinking out the restaurants and cafes and shops. I can imagine a sort of civil war between the old and the young in 10 or 15 years' time."
How big a step is it from making euthanasia available to "stinking, demented old people" to demanding that they avail themselves of it? It's chilling to think that when government runs health care faceless bureaucrats will ultimately decide who receives care and who doesn't. It's not hard to imagine a lot of those bureaucrats sharing the opinions of Mr. Amis. After all, several of President Obama's advisors have already gone on record with views not far removed from those of Mr. Amis.
It's a Brave New World we are embarking upon under our HopenChange political leadership.RLC