Canadian To America: Time to Bring in the Death Panels
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  • Tim Godfrey

    The main flaw in the Canadian system is that individuals are not allowed to make spending choices for themselves. i.e. if keeping a dead person alive for philosophical reasons is important to the family they should be entitled to pay for it themselves.

    I suspect most families when faced between paying for their kids college or keeping grand-dad alive for a little longer would go for the college.

    This debate over death panels is yet another example of how healthcare is broken because no country is able provide a system that provides proper price signals to the people demanding care.

  • vepxistqaosani

    My wife and I, being Christians, believe with Clough that “Thou shalt not kill; but needst not strive / Officiously to keep alive”. Not everyone shares our faith; and some of those who do not will demand such things as cryogenics, uploads to massive servers, and whatever other expensive miracles the Singularity brings.

    Will the ACA pay for such things?

  • Palinurus

    If I understand Canadian law correctly, the state won’t put you to death for the most heinous murder or rape, but it will effectively end your life for occupying a hospital bed that might be more efficiently allocated to someone else?

    I guess I can see the logic. For the last hundred years or so, “justice” for liberalism has come less to mean the protection of the individual person and his property and more to mean the redistribution of wealth and other resources to further the ends of the state. Accordingly, the most heinous crimes against one’s person are no longer capital offenses, but a certain sort of inefficiency is.

    One wonders if this could lead to the reintroduction of capital punishment in the criminal justice system if prisoners serving terminal or long sentences were understood to be wasting scarce prison space.

    • Corlyss

      “the state won’t put you to death for the most heinous murder or rape,”
      Massively ironic, ain’t it. Same in Europe.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “problem of medical resource scarcity”

    Where demand is infinite, as it is in a socialist medicine system, there will never be enough supply to meet that demand. In a free market medical system, where the patients and their families are responsible for paying for medical treatment, the life or death decisions are placed where they should be, in the hands of those it most affects.

  • jeburke

    I think the scenario of the 90 year old doomed to quick demise without heroic measures being taken off life support by a “death panel” is something of a red herring in the discussion about rationing. The far more serious issue will be whether we allow a panel of medical bureaucrats at CMS to decide that Medicare will not cover invasive heart surgery for an 80 year old threatened by imminent death from congestive heart failure to give him a shot at living to 85; or not cover expensive cutting edge chemotherapy for a 75 year old with advanced cancer that might give her a chance to see her 80th birthday.

    A cold-hearted cost-benefit analysis might compel the conclusion that these, too, are “heroic” efforts that aren’t cost effective, given the applicable life expectancies. But isn’t the possibility of life extension in such cases one of the greatest benefits of the advances in health care?

  • Corlyss

    “Ontario has a tribunal that is legally empowered to overrule family members trying to keep their relatives on life support alive.”

    Forever the state got in you’re way if you decided to pull the plug on an elderly or incapable (what used to be called defective) human that was consuming resources at light-speed. Then one fine day, the caring legislators said, “Okay. We get it. People don’t have unlimited resources and they shouldn’t have to spend themselves into the poor house to care for said drains. We’ll ‘let’ the state take over the payments.” Now all of a sudden, legislators are saying, “Hey, wait a minute. WE don’t have unlimited resources either! What if a lot of drains need this vanity support? We can’t afford it.” This business of keeping people alive who will never be contributors, will never produce anything, will never pay 1 penny in taxes until they die a natural death is absurd. The living and the useful enslaved by the virtually dead and useless. What kind of rational behavior is that?

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