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Will Obamacare Bring Us Death Panels and Rationing?

by Brad Mattes | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 12/7/12 2:38 PM

Opinion

There’s no crystal ball where we can see our future of national healthcare under Obamacare. However, there’s a very close model in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS). In fact, while we ponder the future of death panels and rationing of healthcare in the US, the UK is living it—and in many cases dying from it. So we can look at the NHS to see our future under Obamacare.

It starts off sounding harmless. In fact, one may even consider it noble. But words like “care” are used to mask the inevitable consequences. Unfortunately, when the government begins to interfere in healthcare, it’s ultimately not about care or comfort, but rather about cost.

The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) in the UK is a healthcare service that’s used when death is imminent, and it incorporates heavy doses of morphine to deal with what would otherwise be uncontrolled pain. It may seem to be a compassionate and empathetic notion, until you realize the system is being abused to serve as a fast-track pipeline to euthanize the most vulnerable patients.

What began as an effort to relieve suffering is now ending lives at a frightening pace. Here’s how the numbers play out:

  • Only 2–5% of patients require this level of sedation to control pain.
  • Yet, the LCP has been involved in the deaths of 130,000 patients who were elderly, terminally ill, or seriously ill but not dying. This is 29% of the 450,000 NHS deaths each year.
  • At many hospitals, over 50% of the patients who had died had been put on LCP.

The horrific irony is that this practice isn’t leading to care and comfort. Instead it’s leading to more deaths and a rationing of healthcare to patients based on “quality of life” determinations. Assumptions are being made about what treatments are considered “futile.” This wholesale approach to euthanasia is being used as a way to save money by limiting care to those who need it most.

The evidence is disturbing. Cancer patients are being put at the back of the line for routine services like x-rays and antibiotics. Surgeries for hip replacements, cataracts, and varicose veins are being rationed. Doctors are resorting to prescribing drinking water for neglected elderly patients to stop them from dying of thirst in the hospital. This method of dehydration and starvation has been used to end the lives of babies in a neonatal unit. There are numerous cases where patients are being killed who would otherwise be able to recover and live if only given proper treatment and essential nourishment.

When you follow the money trail, it leads to over $19 million that has been given as awards to trusts for hospitals that have hit their targeted number of patients put into LCP. It’s simply a fact that the centralization of healthcare will inevitably lead to dangerous rationing of care and perilous decisions surrounding quality of life.

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Don’t believe for a moment that this couldn’t happen to you in America. The US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare, and the re-election of Barack Obama ensures this government-controlled behemoth will soon be breathing down your neck. It’ll likely be even worse considering proponents of Obamacare admitted from the beginning that the government isn’t close to funding all the healthcare expectations of Americans.

It’s a daunting task to manage healthcare decisions for those who are terminally ill or injured. I don’t want the government making those decisions for my family and me. If you agree, you must take a firm stand against Obamacare by warning others about the real dangers of government-controlled healthcare. Also, be proactive with your family and make sure they’re aware of your wishes by creating a will to live. Don’t turn a blind eye, because this is a life-or-death situation for all of us.

LifeNews.com Note: Bradley Mattes is the executive director of Life Issues Institute, a national pro-life educational group.