Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Actual headline: "Canada Has Death Panels And that’s a good thing."

Every once in a while I idly wonder  if there is any depth to which the DemocRat Party and their various media enablers will not sink. Then along comes an article like this one in Slate,  and I realize no, there isn't. They hit bottom a while ago and have been digging furiously ever since. Slate is employing heavy excavation equipment with this latest effort. To wit:

Yet, the question remains: Who decides? Remember that, outside of Ontario, the resolution of these end-of-life disputes is generally reserved for judges. Ontario has simply replaced them with experts and wise community members. That's a lead other jurisdictions should consider following when families' emotions and doctors' judgments collide. 
Perhaps it is easier for Canadians to trust government-appointed panels, rather than judges, with decisions like these. For reasons that arguably go back to our respective foundings, Canadians tend to have more faith in our government and our bureaucratic processes than Americans do in theirs. Look at gun control: Canada lacks a constitutional guarantee of a right to bear arms in part because we never fought a war of independence that made one seem necessary. Similarly, when conservative politicians in the United States condemn Obamacare as a "government takeover" of health care, a lot of Canadians roll our eyes.

writing in Slate considers a board of political appointees to be superior to doctors, judges AND family members in cases of deciding who gets medical care and who gets to die. Thinks its a great idea. America should do it too. Here's his Twitter feed, picture of him indicates he's every inch the law student/hipster idiot you'd expect given this article.

Adam Goldenburg, hipster idiot and propagandist.
Americans please note, in Ontario if OHIP decides they aren't going to pay for your hospital care, you're hooped. In Ontario the private alternative is a hospital in Buffalo, New York. You literally have to leave the country if you want to pay cash.

Little Adam is arguing that a bureaucracy composed of whoever the regime felt deserved a sinecure should be deciding who gets medical care in Ontario. The Consent and Capacity Board should be making these decisions based on what is convenient for the Consent and Capacity Board and the regime in general. Little Adam thinks that all will be well, because obviously the Great and the Good of the Ontario would never do anything bad, right? They would never deny a person medical care for political reasons, right? They would never provide care to crooked buddies instead of the deserving poor, right? Because that would be CRAZY!

Obamacare looks like one of these stepping on your neck.

Like the Great and the Good of the Ontario Liberal Party would never cancel an electricity generating station contract in Oakville, costing the Ontario taxpayer a billion dollars [that's $1,000,000,000], just to keep five seats in parliament, right? Because that would be CRAZY! 

Oh, wait...

Advice to my American comrades: make friends with some doctors. Friends get put to the front of the really big waiting list in Ontario. Little Adam didn't tell you that part, did he?

The Phantom

Update: Welcome twitter readers from Jeff Jedras and Adam Goldenberg. Comments seem to be from people who are pretty young. Ask your Moms and Dads how its going with the taking care of Grandma and Grandpa thing. Their views may shock you.


SamI said...

This article is, in legal terminology, stupid. The author here, unconcerned with truth, and likely uneducated in law (or anything else), seems to be more concerned with attacking Adam Goldenberg as a hipster idiot than actually examining the system described much more fully than a single, out-of-context quote could possibly do.

Here's some clarity: under this HORRIBLE death panel system, patients are the default decision maker. Where they are unable to make a decision, and haven't made their wishes known in advance, their legal next of kin (or other designee) makes that decision on their behalf. No death panel. Where a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL (you know, the same ones that the author here says are out of the equation) disagrees strongly enough with the decision made by the next of kin, that medical professional, instead of going before a judge who has precisely no medical experience, goes instead before a panel of people who DO have medical experience. These people are under a legal and ethical obligation (something with which the author here is also no doubt utterly unfamiliar) to act fairly and equitably in moderating this dispute between the next of kin on the one hand, and medical professionals on the other.

Finally, it's worth noting that unlike the United States, Canada's judiciary is not politicized. For the benefit of this clumsy hatchet job, let me point out what that means. Administrative tribunals do not operate in a vacuum. Their decisions are subject to a measure of review to ensure that they are reached in a reasonable and fair manner. Who carries out those reviews? The very judges that the author here suggests are out of the question.

This piece is pathetic on its face, and utterly inaccurate. I feel as well that I should quickly respond to the throwaway, unrelated bit at the end of this litany of dishonesty by pointing out that I would much rather have a government, accountable to me, involved in my medical decisions than an insurance company, accountable only to its shareholders, and whose decisions are made on the basis of reducing silly costs like paying for necessary medical treatment.

The Phantom said...

Couple of things Saml. First, I am not a lawyer and have never taken a law course. Second, I am a medical professional and I have worked in both the American and Canadian (Ontario) systems.

Uncontested in your comment here is the fact that the final word on treatment belongs to a panel of political appointees. Which means a bunch of guys chosen by bureaucrats and signed off on by politicians. That's how they do it. As to their "legal and ethical obligation" as you put it, with the best intentions in the world that board has to consider more factors than just the welfare of the patient. Such as resource allocation.

And I'm not inclined to assume the best intentions, sorry if that upsets you. I'm inclined to expect government employees to make decisions that benefit themselves. If it is advantageous to the board to discontinue putting artificial hips in 85 year old females because of cost or medical fashion or brownie points or whatever, that's what they will do.

Now, if we in Ontario had any alternative to the OHIP covered public system, this state of affairs would be normal and acceptable. Get turned down by OHIP, go to a private hospital and pay money. Or even go to a charity hospital and accept charity money. Shriners for example.

But we don't have that. So the last word belongs to the bureaucrats. (Making Adam Goldenberg a damn fool hipster idiot.)

Which again would be fine, if as you assert Canada's judiciary is not politicized. However what you really mean is that judges seem to always make decisions that seem sensible to -you-. I don't share your views on what "sensible" means, so my thoughts on the judiciary differ.

For example, Canada's judiciary signed off on our medical system. The single payer, single provider model that we share with no other nation than North Korea. Were it not for that continued judicial support, we would have private hospitals and we would have charity hospitals.

So really, you're just pissed at me for having the unmitigated gall to disagree with you. And clearly, anyone who disagrees with the Great Saml must be a contemptible idiot, and therefore must be beaten into submission.

I have to tell you though, as a public service, you're profoundly disinformed if you think they won't let you mum die in the waiting room. Please note, not -un-informed. -Dis-informed. As in purposefully mislead regarding the facts.

I assure you, they really will. It happens regularly. Weekly, in some locations. Funny how you've not heard about it, eh?

Anonymous said...

Phantom. You're not disagreeing with us, but us with you. You are disinforming yourself because of kinship with an affection for discredited capitalist ideology using reactionary rhetoric only so you can maintain our screed - cool, your site. But your sarcasm and name-calling, and inability to keep focus on content rather than personality, toss you into that pot of nut jobs that only live in the ether world. So I snark here and move on to the streets where it's really happening.

Alyric said...

I would have replied, Saml, but it seems the Phantom has already done so more successfully than I would have.

I will add, however, that when they let your mother die - sitting on the floor of the hallway to the waiting room, because the waiting room is full - they'll just step over, walk around, and ignore her corpse for hours. This happens regularly in England, for example.

So, you have that to look forward to.

The Phantom said...

Alyric, thanks for the support. You don't have to go all the way to England for dead grandmas lying in the hall for hours and hours. Toronto hospitals have lots of these.

Sometimes Grandma buys it in the ambulance which has been sitting in the hospital parking lot for a while, and she just stays there through a shift change until the new crew finds her stiff as a boot.

The Phantom said...

Anonymous said: "You are disinforming yourself because of kinship with an affection for discredited capitalist ideology using reactionary rhetoric only so you can maintain our screed - cool, your site."

Kid, you should hunt down your high school English teachers and beat the shit out of them.

Bork TI said...

Advice to my American comrades: make friends with some doctors. Friends get put to the front of the really big waiting list in Ontario. Little Adam didn't tell you that part, did he?

As to this assertion I have this real world, real time example: A friend in Hamilton, Ontario, whose Mum is in the middle stages of dementia has had no problem getting care for her. The family has had the same doctor for many years and that doctor has repeatedly moved mountains to get care for her older patients ( the Mum included ). I do not intend to pass judgement as to the appropriateness of this, just to make an observation.


The Phantom said...

Greetings, Invincible One. :)

Indeed, anecdotes like this are legion. Studies showing this effect are also numerous but fewer than anecdotes, since its pretty hard to get doctors to admit they favor friends and relations over "regular" patients.

The fact remains though, your best hope for getting advanced treatment in a timely fashion is to have a close relative who is a doc. Otherwise you're looking at a rationing system with big ugly teeth in it.