From FIRST READ at MSNBC:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was invited to testify before the New York state Senate Aging Committee by its Chairman, Rev. Ruben Diaz. Instead of testifying, Palin has submitted written testimony, and publicizes it via her latest Facebook “Note.”
In it, she defends her contention that there are, in fact, “death panels” in health-care legislation being considered in Congress — despite independent fact-checkers repeatedly debunking the notion.
“A great deal of attention was given to my use of the phrase ‘death panel’ in discussing such rationing,” Palin writes. “Despite repeated attempts by many in the media to dismiss this phrase as a ‘myth’, its accuracy has been vindicated.”
She also claims that “Advance Care Planning Consultation” will have a “coercive effect” on seniors.
“These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is ‘to reduce the growth in health care spending,'” Palin writes.
Therefore, she concludes: “Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care?”
More: “The fact is that any group of government bureaucrats that makes decisions affecting life or death is essentially a ‘death panel,'” she writes.
She also cites writings by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ezekial [sic], as what “could ultimately be used by government bureacrats to help determine the treatment of our loved ones.” (Ezekial [sic] Emanuel has said that he years ago believed that care would have to be rationed as a result of reform, but he has since been convinced otherwise, he said.)
You can her testimony it in its entirety at link above–and, by the way, ain’t no way in hell that bimbo wrote any of it. I doubt she even knows what the big words mean.
From Political Punch at abcNEWS (August 13, 2009) :
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the health-policy adviser at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget — who has been caricatured by conservatives as a “Dr. Death” seeking to pull the I.V.s out of your grandparents’ arms in the name of cost containment — is not happy.
Asked by ABC News in an interview about the thoroughly discredited claim by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to paint his philosophical writings as evidence — along with a provision providing optional end of life counseling in the House Democrats’ health care reform bill — that President Obama wants to set up “death panels” to deny medical treatments to seniors and the disabled, including her son Trig, Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, does not hold back.
“It’s an absolute outrage that you would take first of all a provision written in the bill,” Emanuel says, a provision allowing for “doctors to talk to patients about end of life care, and turn it into the suggestion that we’re going to have euthanasia boards — that’s a complete misreading of what’s there. It’s just trying to scare people.”
Emanuel says as an oncologist he’s had hundreds of discussions with patients about what to do when treatment doesn’t work.
The provision in the House Democrats’ bill is “an acknowledgment doctors should be compensated for making that conversation available,” he says. “It’s not forced — it’s voluntary.”
As for Palin’s vision of “Obama ‘death panels,’” Emanuel argues “there’s no basis for that claim either in any of my writings or the legislation.
An opponent of euthanasia, Emanuel says he “abhor”s people “cavalierly distorting those writings and the work that I’ve done over 25 years to help improve medical care in America for vulnerable people who often have no voice.”
In fact, as an academic he looked into the notion of euthanasia when the “Right to Die” movement started gaining attention and he says he’s been “very solidly consistently against it.”
One of the passages written by Emanuel and used as evidence by Palin and others that he would favor withholding medical care from those who aren’t productive members of society include a 1996 contribution to the Hastings Center Report, in which he said that under the “civic republican or deliberative democratic” construct, “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia. A less obvious example is guaranteeing neuropsychological services to ensure children with learning disabilities can read and learn to reason.”
Is he saying, as Palin and others have suggested, that those who aren’t “participating citizens” should have no guarantee to health care?
“No,” Emanuel says, “and I think I made it pretty clear I wasn’t endorsing that view, I was analyzing that perspective and what it might mean in practical terms. The rest of the text around that quote made it made it pretty clear I was trying to analyze it and understand it, not endorse it.”
In another article used as grist for his critics, in Lancet in January 2009, Emanuel and two co-authors discussed rationing care. But Emanuel cautions the goal of the article was not to apply his views of rationing onto providing health care in general.
“We were examining a very particular situation,” he said.
The situation: “we don’t have enough organs for everybody who needs a transplant. You have one liver, you have three people who need the liver – who gets it? The solution isn’t ‘We get more livers.’ You can’t. It’s a tragic choice.” It’s a decision made in the story in the context of “absolute scarcity.”
“it doesn’t apply generally to health care services more broadly,” Emanuel underlines.
The oncologist suggests that his words are being twisted because opponents “don’t have a solution” to the health care reform debate. “Maybe the only tactic is to sow fear and use whatever means you have to attack whether that’s grounded in reality or not… If you don’t have good arguments you use whatever you got, I guess, to say things that are distortive and untrue.”
About 15 years ago he did think rationing was necessary because of cost issues but he has come to change his mind. “The more I’ve looked into it the less I think it’s true,” he says. “We spend a lot of money and resources — hundreds of billions of dollars — for unnecessary care, care that doesn’t help patients,” and in some case might make them sicker by exposing them to hospital-acquired infections.
“We don’t have to raise the issue of denying care, or choosing which people gets services,” he says.