Friday, July 29, 2005

Triumph Of Socialized Medicine

Terri Schiavo was dehydrated to death after years of legal battles. It's worse for disabled Brits - when their socialist health system decides them to be "not competent", they are killed with the doctor's weapon of choice, dehydration. (My ellipsis).

Dying man loses legal battle over right to be fed

Mr (Leslie Burke) (45) suffers from cerebellar ataxia, a progressively degenerative brain condition...(he) will need artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) when he loses the ability to swallow...(he) is terminally ill and fears that doctors may allow him to die...

Last July, the High Court granted a challenge by (Mr. Burke), and declared that key sections of General Medical Council (Brit doctors' trade union) guidance on withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment were unlawful. (It ruled) that the patient had the right to insist on ANH.

But yesterday three appeal judges allowed an appeal by the GMC against the ruling, setting aside six declarations by the trial judge. Permission to appeal was refused.

"A patient cannot demand that a doctor administer a treatment which the doctor considers is adverse to the patient's clinical needs. "

Karl Max would be proud of this reasoning. Would these despots dare rule that "A customer cannot demand that a salesman sells them a car which the salesman considers is adverse to the customer's driving needs"?

That said, we consider the scenario that we have just described is extremely unlikely to arise.

Would they accept "Heh, it will never happen!" as a reason not to cover an eventuality in a contract?

Perhaps sensing that killing disabled people is not popular, the judges tried to "clarify" their decision, in the process highlighting their cruelty. (My emphasis).

The judges added that, "where a competent patient indicates his or her wish to be kept alive by the provision of ANH, any doctor who deliberately brings that patient's life to an end by discontinuing the supply of ANH will not merely be in breach of duty but guilty of murder".

But they stressed that "in the last stage of life" ANH - far from prolonging life - may even hasten death.

This Get Out Of Jail clause must be based on evidence from a GMC Expert Witness that Food And Water Kills.

Here's the judges' (literally) killer clause:

"It is only in this situation that, assuming the patient remains competent, a patient's expressed wish that ANH be continued might conflict with the doctor's view that this is not clinically indicated."

So, in the Brit socialist health system, if the medics judge you terminally ill and ITHO don't "remain competent", you're toast. This includes Grandma and Grandpa, as well as younger disabled people.