Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coming soon, to a healthcare system near you...

Assuming our bright, shiny, wonderful new government-funded healthcare law doesn't get repealed, America will be in for a little something like this.  The director of Britain's NHS, Dr. Daphne Austin, said that she wants babies born at 23 weeks or earlier (keep in mind, viability is getting ever earlier - about as early as 20 weeks) to be left to die.  LEFT TO DIE.  She claims that since babies born at this stage face a 99 percent chance of being disabled (not 99% chance of dying...just of being disabled in some unknown way), they should be put out of their misery and left to die.  Neglected and left to die.  Just so we're clear.

The legal gestational limit for abortions in the UK is 24 weeks.  So at least she's being consistent.  Of course we pro-lifers know that there's no difference between killing a 24 week unborn child and a 23 week born child.

She would like to see healthcare dollars - tax dollars - spent on something more "worthwhile," like cancer patients.  (Of course the irony here is that one of those premature babies, if saved, could grow up to find a cure for cancer!)  According to the article:

"Dr Austin, who advises local health trusts how to spend their budgets, said doctors were ‘doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers’ and that treatments have ‘very marginal benefit’."
She believes that the treatment and care that babies get in the hospital is too expensive and essentially worthless.  And this isn't the first time a story like this has come out of the UK.  Back in 2006 the NHS put forth guidelines that stated that babies born at 22 weeks and before should not be resuscitated, unless the parents request it and the doctors agree.  So even if the parents beg and plead for doctors to save their baby, the doctors could tell them it's not "worth it" and allow the baby to die.

"She claimed keeping them alive is only ‘prolonging their agony’, and it would be better to invest the money in care for cancer sufferers or the disabled."

How did we get here?  Part of the problem is misguided mercy.  Which sounds nice and compassionate, but is in practice a horrible state of culture to be in.  But when abortion became legal, rampant, and acceptable in western countries, we successfully hardened hearts to become a culture of death.  Take euthanasia, for instance.  Many people believe that neglecting people by removing sustenance necessary to live or hastening death to alleviate suffering is right and good.  Unfortunately, the more secular our culture gets, the more out of touch we get, in turn, with the benefits of suffering.  (I don't want to presume that I know what it's like to suffer from a horrible, incurable disease.  But we need to be remember that suffering glorifies the Lord.)

The other, less well-intentioned problem is that of the single-payer healthcare system.  When we have bureaucratic taxpayer-funded governments budgeting and allotting healthcare funds, we cease to have the power to make our own medical decisions.  People in positions of power, like Dr. Austin, have a job to do.  And their job is to balance budgets and keep costs down for the government - not necessarily to save and dignify lives.  It's happening in the UK, Canada, and is already starting to look like it could happen right here in the US.  It's just inevitable.  When the the bills are paid by a taxpayer-supported institution, as opposed to a free market-driven institution, it just can't sustain itself at the same level of care for the same amount of people.

"‘If it was my child, from all the evidence and information that I know, I would not resuscitate,’ she said."
Lord have mercy on that child.


  1. This makes me want to SCREAM!

  2. There was an episode of something about this a while ago.. Law and Order maybe? It's disgusting.

    I know it's not 24 weeks (although it's all a slippery slope so who knows.. 24 weeks might become 26, then 28 or 30), and so much happens each week in the womb, but Clara was born at 30 weeks and you would never know she wasn't full-term! She isn't behind at all. So this is near and dear to my heart as the mother of a preemie. That being said, a baby who does have disabilities should have every chance at life too.. obviously. Why is something so obvious to us such a foreign concept to others?!

  3. I should've said 23 weeks, but you get my point :)

  4. It's like we live in an upside-down world. Hate it.

  5. I don't agree with this woman, either. But don't run off with the idea that just because some woman overseas feels this way, American healthcare would force you to let your preemie die on the table. That is not going to happen. Our medical system (note: not talking about abortionists) is compelled to save everyone's lives if they can.

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  7. Anonymous: Yes, currently our healthcare system is committed to saving lives how and whenever possible. That's because WE are still in control of our own medical decisions. For now. The problem is that when healthcare is funded by the government - as it will be under the new healthcare law - the government makes the decisions based on financial benefits...not based on the best interest of the patients and families. Those are just the facts. Look at any country who has government-funded healthcare.

    Also, as far as doctors: 1) there will be fewer of them because they won't be allowed to practice medicine according to their conscience. The government is already rescinding conscience protections; 2) there won't be any competition for the best doctors b/c everyone's insurance will be "equal." So they won't have incentive to go above and beyond to save lives; 3) the ones who do will have their hands tied by the bureaucracy and will be told what/what not to do by a panel of decision-makers.

    You said, "that is not going to happen." How can you be so sure? Because the politicians told you so? Yes...they never lie! The facts in countries with similar systems prove otherwise.

  8. Anonymous after our former president had to pass a "born alive act" to save babies lives, I'm not so sure about what you're saying. I realize you said "not talking about abortionists," but it's just such a slippery slope.

    I am sick to my stomach! This world makes me so sad sometimes :(

  9. Mary, great point about the Born Alive act. Let's also remember that our CURRENT president voted AGAINST it! The same president that passed the healthcare bill!

  10. Well, if it is all the government's fault, then what do you think of the drug company K-V Pharmaceutical Co. of St. Louis making Makena, a prescription form of progesterone that they give to women to prevent premature labor, cost $1500 a dose after it used to be $20 a shot. All the FDA did was approve the drug for use. The unchecked (and may I add greedy) Pharmaceutical industry did the rest. But I guess government doesn't have the right to ensure women who need this medication get it without going bankrupt?

  11. Anonymous: first of all, I never said "it's all the government's fault."

    I have heard about that and I think it's terrible, assuming the rumors are true. But the government does not solve our problems. Keep in mind, that in the free market, another pharmaceutical company could see the need for a cheaper alternative and step into the market by developing another similar drug. But when the gov't is the only provider, they can charge whatever they want, without competition. They can't offer everything for free (nothing from the gov't is's paid for by our tax dollars, remember, and they're only going up).

    The way pharmaceutical companies operate and yes, at times, take advantage of consumers is a totally separate issue from government being the solution. The gov't stepping in and taking over is not the alternative.

    I don't know enough about this progesterone issue. I'd have to do some research to argue it properly. I've even heard that the details are still fuzzy on that rumor, though correct me if I'm wrong.

    What I CAN tell you is that the gov't is not the solution to our healthcare problems.

  12. Ack there is no room for anonymous comments. They always hide. Great post! Just like easy accessible contraception will lead to less abortions. Funny how more contraception leads to more abortions. Anon they said it wouldnt happen but it did. It's a chain of events!

  13. This makes me so sad!! During Lent I will just pray pray pray that this doesn't happen anywhere!!

  14. Good news! Just got word that the progesterone that PPVI uses is NOT the same as the one that is skyrocketing in cost. So there IS an alternative! Anyone using PPVI's progesterone can breathe easily. Nothing is going to change! (Thank you, free market!)