Death Panels

I had Hannity on in the background while I was writing curriculum for the start of school.  Some of the rhetoric was so asinine that I had to stop what I was doing and watch.

One thing that I'll comment on was how they gave kudos to Palin for exposing the "death panels."  Palin posted on facebook that the "downright evil" proposal that a panel would decide who lives and dies based on their value.  The proposal actually involves end of life counselling. 

End of life counselling isn't some draconian board of purple robe clad monsters that give you a thumbs up or down like is being implied.  It's not uncommon for private insurance to have this provision as part of existing policies.  My insurance has it.  What it actually involves is a medical professional discussing having power of attorney or a living will in case your health problem is so severe that they can't ask you about your wishes.  If your brain is utterly destroyed, how long do you want a feeding tube or a respirator?  Forever?  Okay, just asking.  If you're like me, there are conditions that would make me want them to pull the plug.

The way these people were talking about the clause being removed from the bill as a victory disgusted me.  First of all, they're trying to reinforce the idea that it is a monstrous procedure of euthanasia crazed monsters.  Secondly they're celebrating the removal of an important part of your health care choices.  There are many states that make it illegal to pull the plug on somebody unless they've got explicit advanced directives to do so.  I don't want to be in a persistant vegitative state for years because I didn't plan ahead and nobody was allowed to discuss it with me. 

Just in case you haven't gotten the whole story, end of life counselling is something that many people with private health insurance already have, it doesn't involve people deciding who lives and who dies (except you and your family), and fuck everybody that is misrepresenting the process to freak people out about health care reform.  Fuck Sarah Palin for implying that people are going to let her Down's Syndrome baby die or that they're going to kill your granny.  Planning for your finals days of life might be the most important thing you can do for your family.


Uploaded 08/15/2009
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