Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A "fantastic step forward"

British Health (sic) Secretary Jeremy Hunt

From the UK Mail Online:

60,000 patients put on death pathway without being told but minister still says controversial end-of-life plan is 'fantastic' 

Pathway involves the sick being sedated and usually denied nutrition and fluids
Families kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment 
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said pathway was a 'fantastic step forward' 
Anti-euthanasia group said: ‘The Pathway is designed to finish people off double quick'

In comments that appeared to prejudge an official inquiry into the LCP, the Health Secretary said ‘one or two’ mistakes should not be allowed to discredit the entire end-of-life system. 
But Elspeth Chowdharay-Best of Alert, an anti-euthanasia group, said: ‘The Pathway is designed to finish people off double quick. It is a lethal pathway.

Up to 60,000 patients die on the Liverpool Care Pathway each year without giving their consent, shocking figures revealed yesterday.
A third of families are also kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment from loved ones.

Despite the revelations, Jeremy Hunt last night claimed the pathway was a ‘fantastic step forward’...

The pathway involves withdrawal of lifesaving treatment, with the sick sedated and usually denied nutrition and fluids. Death typically takes place within 29 hours.

We have an intimate experience with "end of life systems" in the 20th century. They have been remarkably effective. They always involve these principles: 1) they are targeted against people who are viewed as extraneous or an impediment to progress 2) they are couched in scientific euphemisms-- final solutions, euthanasia, population control, end of life systems... 3) they are portrayed as necessary and inevitable, cloaked in a bureaucratic freight train that few dare resist 4) people who oppose them are labeled as cranks, anti-progress or anti-science.

And this: such "end of life systems" are never-- never-- put in historical context. Each idea is new, pristine, practical, scientific, never done before.

A remarkable and terrifying pattern is emerging. It was first apparent with eugenics, and it is now happening in other anti-human crusades. Evil learns. It refines its methods, across generations, like a science grows more sophisticated with time.

The early eugenicists were crude oafs, explicitly calling for the elimination of the poor, the sick, the "feebleminded". The Nazis got ahead of their time, and civilization recoiled. So eugenicists changed tactics. They championed positive eugenics-- "voluntary unconscious selection", "every child a wanted child"-- making the families of handicapped kids in the womb want to have their child culled, for his/her sake, for the sake of the family.

We are a eugenic society beyond the dreams of the Davenports and the Sangers and the Himmlers. Ninety percent of babies with Down's Syndrome never see a birthday, and fewer and fewer children with diagnosable serious birth defects escape the abortionists' curette. We are sorting pre-implantation embryos for genetic hygiene.

Now we are working on the other end of life-- culling the elderly sick, starving them, to be exact. But we don't call it that. The Pathway is designed not to offend, but to be effective in a quiet way. This will be the legacy of socialized medicine-- not access, but denial. Splicing medical care to a state-run economy makes illness a  fiducial matter for the government. End of life care, and care for chronically handicapped persons, will be one of the few things that governments will won't finance lavishly.

They're getting better and better at this stuff. At killing.

Evil learns. 


  1. But don't worry, there won't be any death panels here. That's just a right-wing scare tactic.

    Not a single person will be brought up on murder charges, even though someone ought to be getting slapped with sixty thousand counts.

    I can't wait to see how our resident contrarians defend/minimize/spin this one. Let me guess...Bush's fault? Uh...British medicine isn't socialized ENOUGH?

    Little John

  2. In an irony that would be hilarious if it weren't so ghoulish, Dutch physicians are permitted to kill infants (NEJM 2005), but are prohibited from circumcising them: "Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity."

    Obviously this is insane, but that's what happens with leftist belief structures.

    1. @George:

      Pretty funny if it weren't so sick. Legal to kill'em, illegal to circumcise'em.

      Evil has a sense of humor, as well.

    2. No, infant circumcision is not ferboten at all in the Netherlands. The courts have upheld the view that religious freedom trumps medical objections.

      The Royal Dutch Medical Association holds that the medical dangers (e.g. penis amputation due to complications) outweigh the benefits, but they argue against outlawing the practice for fear that non-qualified persons will take over from doctors.

    3. It's nice that the Royal Dutch Medical Association is so solicitous of penises.

      How does the RDMA feel about killing the handicapped babies attached to the penises?

      Would the survival of an improperly euthanized baby be described by the RDMA as a "complication"?

    4. You're right, Troy, and I amend my comment based on this quote: "'We [the Royal Dutch Medical Association] want to discourage male circumcision, because it is an unnecessary procedure with complications, which violates the integrity of the child,' Lode Wigersma, a spokesman for the association, told Reuters on Friday." (Reuters, 2011)

      So circumcision is not prohibited by law; Dutch physicians merely "strongly discourage" it.

      Unlike killing, which apparently excites no anxiety about the "integrity of the child".

      I guess that means they can incinerate the tiny corpse intact.

      Whew. That's a relief.

    5. Check out their website. There are some English papers regarding their viewpoints on euthanasia. You can email them if you have more questions.

    6. I read most of the English language RDMA position paper on euthanasia, but couldn't finish it because of my urge to vomit.

      "The role of the physician in the voluntary termination of life" is an oxymoron, like "the role of loving parents in killing their children" or "the role of teachers in destroying the minds of their students".

      No one who kills intentionally, or assists in killing, is acting as a physician.

      Killing is not medical care.

      The reality is that the horrors of the early 20th century, exemplified by the T4 program in Germany, are back, in great force, in much more lethal and sustainable ways. I don't see how we can stop this.

      But we can make it a lot harder for the bastards.

    7. In the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc., the prevailing view is the infants and elderly are just meat. And in the case of the handicapped and infirm, expensive meat. Those dollars could obviously be better spent elsewhere on needle giveaway programs, tidal electric generation boondoggles, or free condoms.

      Look at the bright side. It could be worse. They shoot horses, don't they?

    8. Sorry to disappoint you, The Torch. Recycling the same arguments gets boring after a while.

      You seem to think that Europe is less civilized than the US. If so, I wonder by what measure. Crime, happiness, health, abortion, education, what?

    9. I knew you would take my argument the wrong way, Troy.

      You just don't get it, do you?

      The Torch

  3. FORCED Abortions are being solicited in the UK too!

  4. For certain people who are gung-ho about killing the sick and elderly, it all comes down to choice. For me, it isn't really about choice. We shouldn't murder the sick or elderly, even if we have a permission slip from the victim or the victim's next of kin. (I've noticed that we progressed from needing the victim's explicit written permission to now only needing the written permission of a family member.)

    And now we find out that the Limeys are knocking off their old folks--and babies, I might add--without any such permission. Not surprising at all. This is how the dynamic develops--first they get the public used to the idea of killing people as "health care" by assuring them that these people actually want to die. And who are we to force people to live when they don't want to? In time, the consent of the victim becomes less and less important. The public, which has already gotten over its objection to killing people as a form of "health care" doesn't quibble over little details about whether anyone ever granted permission. That's really small potatoes, isn't it?


  5. Liberals don't have a problem with killing grandma. They do, however, have a problem with pouring water down Khalid Sheik Mohammad's nose in order to extract intelligence from him about al-Qaeda's intentions and capabilities. Then they beat their chest about their supposed "values."


  6. It strikes me as odd, that Christians, who believe in the afterlife, are so afraid of death that they would rather be brain dead lumps of flesh hooked up to machines that feed them, and breath for them, instead of actually meeting their maker. It just shows how quilt and the fear of hell can literally reduce people to the most pathetic state imaginable.


  7. My last comment was perhaps a bit harsh. It occurs to me that perhaps people are hoping that their loving god takes a break from blessing people who have sneezed in order to perform a miracle for them. Perhaps the church can step up to the plate and pay to entertain these delusions.


  8. You're overreacting, TRISH.

    Suppose you have terminal cancer, weeks or months to live, and you're in terrible pain. You want it to be over with. Wouldn't it be nice if you could pick a time to die painlessly at the hands of your family physician, at home in the presence of your friends and family. You say goodbye, have a glass of champagne together, cry together, and then you go peacefully.

    If you and doctor are willing participants, why should you and the doctor be denied the freedom to do this? Why should the doctor be jailed for life for performing an act of mercy and compassion?

    How do you know the doctor is not an instrument of your God?

  9. There is always medication for pain, and sedation, and people to provide comfort, whatever is needed.

    We are not animals to be "put down".

    Killing is never a moral answer to human suffering, and is never medical care.

  10. Dr Egnor,
    Glad to see you do a post on the 'pathway'.
    There is currently a very high level of outrage in the UK over this barbaric process, even as it is defended. The silver lining, if there is one, is that these people may not have died in vain. More and more people (including MP's and celebs) have been horrified by their families' experiences with this Kafkaesque nightmare - and as they speak out the outrage and demands for ending it are growing exponentially.
    In pray the 'Pathway' is closed, and that the savages responsible are brought to justice.

    Leaving someone to die of thirst and hunger is not saying goodbye with a glass of champagne. The Pathway is not the same as the Dutch model. The latter is suicide dressed up as a medical procedure, while the former is murder dressed up as a medical procedure.
    I don't agree with either evil, but there are degrees of cruelty - and the pathway is another class.
    It is similar to the Chinese 'dying rooms'.

    Limeys? Okay, Yank. You're right though, it is an incremental creep. A creep that is under-way all over the 'civilized' world.

    It does not strike me as odd that the 'strong survive' set are all for killing of the 'weak' and 'inferior' and have not issue with dehumanizing people with any sort of a lack of mental acuity. Leaving the weak and infirm to die is exactly what we can expect from those who see humans as mere animals and accidents of 'nature'.
    Perhaps your attitude will change when you have been seriously ill or have a loved one in care. Then again, perhaps not?

    1. Leaving someone to die of thirst and hunger is not saying goodbye with a glass of champagne. The Pathway is not the same as the Dutch model. The latter is suicide dressed up as a medical procedure, while the former is murder dressed up as a medical procedure.

      Well, I don't think this Liverpool protocol has been portrayed fairly here. Look it up at the Liverpool Uni website. It seems to me it's a protocol to minimize suffering of dying people. If it has been abused, that would be bad, but I wouldn't trust the Daily Mail too much.

      I'm glad to live in a country where people have the legal freedom to choose when they want to die in a painless manner, assisted by professional people. The same procedures are already commonplace in the US and Canada, but so far they haven't been legalized yet in most places. That will change soon enough. Liberal values are winning. I'm sure your children will be happy about it.

    2. "they want to die in a painless manner, assisted by professional people."

      Professional killers, you mean.

      Don't you understand what you are doing to the medical profession?

    3. What am I doing to the medical profession?

      The vast majority of medical professionals over here consider it a moral good. And I suspect most American medical professionals feel the same way. Are they evil people? Has it occurred to you that you might be wrong?

    4. Commonplace? Uh, no.
      It is a crime, and so it will be so long as the public vote means ANYTHING.
      Eugenics is EXTREMELY unpopular, especially with the young folks. We know the cost. We have already spent a generation fighting a bunch of fanatic Eurotrash murderers who acted like this.
      War, I fear, is the only cure for what ails Europe. It's coming, mark my words!

      My children?
      My children will be happy because of the love their parents give/gave them, not to kill them.
      My adult son was caregiver to his great granddad for years.
      He changed him. Fed him. Cleaned his mouth. Stood by him while he needed it, and visited with him whenever he would wake. Showed him films. Read to him. Prayed over him and with him.
      He managed all that while his dad was at war and his mum was working to support the home, and while in his 20's.
      We both did the same for my dad and for my Grandma. We carried their coffins, knowing we did ALL we could do. He never gave up on them. We loved and cared for them until natural end of their days.

      My son HATES eugenics, as do most Canadians his age. It is also a well known fact their (youth) demographic is overwhelmingly pro-life (due to first hand experience, sadly) and that if there was a referendum tomorrow abortion would be SEVERELY restricted in this country.
      This demographic is GROWING not shrinking. The immigrants are ADDING to it. Hundred of thousands of Catholics and Muslims are arriving in this country who ALL despise ALL forms of eugenics as much as the natives, Christians, and Jews do.

      My little one will be raised with exactly the same morals and high respect for the life and dignity of others as his brother. He will be raised in a society that has made a 180 degree turn from the pathetic progressivism of the 90's. He will also be sensitized to the blood lust of your set. He will smell you lot coming a mile away, as will his friends and colleagues. He will live, not just survive.
      I could ask no more or better of him than to be like his big brother.

      The mere insinuation my children would kill me in my old age is absolutely reprehensible. We treat our DOGS better than that.
      To even consider such a suggestion to another adult is beyond the pale. Crass and cowardly.
      A new low.
      I pray that God forgives you as I do, Troy.

    5. crus:

      Great comment. Exactly my thoughts. Thanks.

    6. Touching story, crusader, about your son taking care of your grandpa while you were away blowing up other people's grandparents from a safe distance.

      Respecting someone's wish to be killed painlessly is not eugenics. It seems that most of your fellow Canadians feel the same way.

      War, I fear, is the only cure for what ails Europe. It's coming, mark my words.

      You're nuts, crusader.

    7. "Respecting someone's wish to be killed painlessly is not eugenics"

      Of course it's not eugenics, unless you're killing the person to prevent him from reproducing.

      Here's a question: imagine a person who goes to the doctor who asks to be blinded "painlessly". The person genuinely wants it (such things do happen).

      Would it be ethical for a physician to blind a person simply because the person wanted it?

    8. It may not deserve an answer, but please do deign to answer it.

    9. It would be ethical to refer the 'blindophile' person to a shrink.

    10. Bach,
      Glad to see you chime in. I have been wondering if everything was okay with all the wildfires etc. and hoping I did not see your comments by chance or due to the holidays.
      Are you and your people well and clear from that danger? I certainly hope so. Thinking of you folks down under. My thoughts and prayers.

      You're link is to a lobbyist group. A quick search on the subject reveals why: Dozens of articles and papers organizing against the technocrats who want this evil legal. An AR poll? PLEASE!

      Oh, and just FYI I did not 'blow up' anyone from a distance. You don't get knife wounds from drone warfare (which I am firmly and officially opposed to). As for Granddad's - none of them either. In fact, my life was saved by an elder on very fortunate night. My job was to locate, and sometimes reduce (ie dmage) enemy units who had gone to ground.
      No babies. No old folks. No blowing up of buildings.
      We were a precision task force.
      ZERO collateral damage from my unit. Not a single one. We took small but deeply felt losses, however we did not inflict any civilian casualty. Not one. So go play that hippy bullshit on someone else, kid.

      As for war in Europe, keep on sleepwalking into it - just as your ancestors did. Keep assuming you own your peace and freedoms and need do NOTHING to preserve them. Keep believing your enemy is a fiction. Keep playing your games and living in a doped up stupor.
      Don't listen to the 'crazy' people like myself. Don't listen to the enemy(s) howling for your blood and land. Don't listen to the growing wave of extremists rising in reaction to the official apathy.
      Stay calm.
      Keep your head down and move along.

    11. Crusader, plenty of polls suggest similar high levels of support for assisted suicide among Canadians. See for example this article in the conservative National Post. Even polls conducted by your Euthanasia Prevention Coalition find similar results. But keep on dreaming if you prefer.

      Thanks for the exciting war stories. Somehow I knew they would be forthcoming.

      What kind of war in Europe are you predicting? Muslim extremists trying to overthrow European governments by means of force? Please enlighten us with your professional analysis.

    12. Troy,
      There are all sorts of polls for all sorts of issues. None of them a heap of beans. They polled prior to our last election, and the opposition called it early (by calling the PM into contempt) to end the Conservative minority.
      Polls said the Liberals would win a majority. They were DECIMATED IN EVERY PROVINCE (even Quebec!), and the Conservatives won a STRONG majority ('super majority'). Even the recent immigrants (the Liberal base for years) is now turning Tory, NDP, and Bloc by the droves.

      The problem with these polls in this country, you see, is they poll only the marginally liberal big cities (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver) and they do so generally by phone.

      These are big cities full of people who say one thing to their coffee shop pals, and then promptly vote the other way when in the private booth.

      These polls ignore the smaller cities and the suburban and rural populations which are just as politically important. Their market is the urbanite day dreamers.
      The result?
      Canadians generally IGNORE polls and overwhelmingly distrust ALL politicians of ALL stripes. Further, they have built a great deal of resentment for the Eastern urbanites and Planet Vancouver (a really fun place, don't get me wrong) in the rest of the country.
      Stats mean nothing in this country - even when it comes to weather.

      As for threats of war, I can only be obscure. I am not at liberty to discuss the actual details and predictions of our military or allies.

      Sufficed to say you don't need the Muslims to factor in at all.
      The Muslims of Europe will, of course, be a player. Being a significant and exponentially growing minority the Muslim powers will no doubt influence and capitalize the conflicts, but they are not needed as some sort of catalyst to war. Participants? Sure. Instigators? No. They are much more savvied than that. Will they be the long term benefactors of such a conflict? Not if we can help it.

    13. Stats mean nothing in this country - even when it comes to weather.

      How odd. I used to work at the department of Mathematics and Statistics at Queens in Kingston, Ontario, but nobody told me about this anomaly. Bastards.

      As for threats of war, I can only be obscure. I am not at liberty to discuss the actual details and predictions of our military or allies.

      Well, that's just great. You blame me for not to "listen to the enemy(s) howling for" my "blood and land", but you won't help me listen. Can you at least identify the European "ails" that need to be cured by war according to you?

    14. By the way, crusader, if one of your colleagues were mortally wounded and he asked you to kill him lest he fall into the hands of some Taliban madmen, assuming he couldn't do the job himself and you couldn't transport him to safety, would you refuse his request for a mercy killing?

  11. We just have to agree to disagree then. I think it's moral to assist people who have a wish to die, but you don't. Amen.

  12. Simply restating a synopsis of your view and mine accomplishes nothing.

    "assist people who have a wish to die" is a euphemism for killing.

  13. Yes, but so what? If people want to die, that's their business. It's none of your business.

  14. Killing innocent people is always wrong, even if they "want it", and I make it my business to fight it.

  15. Troy,

    "How odd. I used to work at the department of Mathematics and Statistics at Queens in Kingston, Ontario, but nobody told me about this anomaly."
    Not an anomaly. A cultural trait.
    No shock that statisticians value statistics.
    Strange you did not experience something that is so common, though. I actually taught in Kingston for a couple of years, and attended the RMC there myself. Too close to Montreal for my liking, but still a nice little place. Love the islands and the old fort.

    "...but you won't help me listen."
    Shall I chew your food too? I cannot detail intelligence on a friend's blog. You can do your own research.

    "Can you at least identify the European "ails" that need to be cured by war according to you?"
    Turn on your TV. Pick up a newspaper.

    "...would you refuse his request for a mercy killing?"
    Your situation is not a hypothetical one in my experience. The answer is yes. My men and I guarded our downed men with no exceptions.
    We did not leave anyone behind - live or dead.
    I myself was wounded on two occasions and lost a very significant amount of blood.
    Obviously I am still here.