Tales of health care horror from the UK offers glimpse of what could await us at home, should the Democrats’ health care reform pass
So, I’ve been seeing a whole lot of horror stories coming out of the UK with regard to health care recently, including accounts of people wrongly placed into the country’s end-of-life care rationing process. All have been heart-wrenching, and all should make an impact on the debate here. For me, as the father of a little girl who was born six weeks’ premature and left the hospital at less than five pounds, one particular story about a little baby boy refused care after being born at 21 weeks and five days because the artificial threshold for live-saving care for premature babies in the UK is 22 weeks, was hardest to read.
Medics allegedly told her that they would have tried to save the baby if he had been born two days later, at 22 weeks.
In fact, the medical guidelines for Health Service hospitals state that babies should not be given intensive care if they are born at less than 23 weeks.
The guidance, drawn up by the Nuffield Council, is not compulsory but advises doctors that medical intervention for very premature children is not in the best interests of the baby, and is not ‘standard practice’.
James Paget Hospital in Norfolk refused to comment on the case but said it was not responsible for setting the guidelines relating to premature births.
A trust spokesman said: ‘Like other acute hospitals, we follow national guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine regarding premature births.’
That little boy lived for two hours without care. And, because of some arbitrary limit put into place by health care bureaucrats, he breathed his last without care which could have saved his life. Here in the United States, doctors and trained medical personnel are in most states provided with protection from civil liability through “good samaritan” statutes in an effort to encourage those trained to do so to offer assistance at the scene of an accident without fear of legal reprisal (absent gross negligence). In the UK’s health system, it seems, doctors in hospitals aren’t even encouraged to save lives that can be saved.
And, make no mistake, we’ve seen that babies born at 21 weeks are indeed viable. Witness the story of little Amelia Taylor who, after being born at just 21 weeks and at a weight of only ten ounces will turn a healthy three years old next month.
Tonight, our president will argue to a joint session of Congress and an apprehensive American public that the plans for health care reform put forth by the White House and the Democrats will not lead to the very same sort of rationing we’re seeing in the United Kingdom and Canada. And he will be lying. There is only one way to manage costs in a government-run health care operation, and that is to ration or refuse the most expensive procedures that are perceived to offer the least in return. That means that seniors, in Obama’s own words, may be encouraged to “take a pain pill” instead of getting treatment that would extend and make better their remaining years. That means that newborns like Amelia Taylor and like that little boy in Britain could very well be refused lifesaving care.
Of course, on the latter, refusing lifesaving care to prematurely born children is nothing new to this president. He’s the one who said he didn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby.” He’s the one who forced himself to coin a new phrase–pre-viable fetus–so he could rationalize opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have provided small babies who survived a botched abortion with medical treatment. Looking to gain sympathy from this president with the plight of a so-called pre-viable fetus like the one from the UK simply won’t work.
Point being, the program being pitched by The One isn’t health care reform in the sense that its focus is on health care. It’s a measure designed to exponentially expand the size, scope and reach of, and reliance upon, the American federal government. That’s it. It’s Cash For Clunkers II, friends and neighbors. And that’s why it must be stopped.