Death panels in English medicine

Just a quick trip down this elevator shaft, old fella, and you'll be right as rain!

Just a quick trip down this elevator shaft, old fella, and you’ll be right as rain!

Hospital may not withhold treatment from patient, judge rules. The guy checked into a British hospital for one thing, contracted “hospital-acquired pneumonia” and went downhill from there. The hospital sued to end treatment so it could free up a bed, the family resisted, and the court ruled in favor of keeping the 67-year-old alive.

[The justice]  said while there was next to no chance Mr James would ever leave hospital and resume his musical career, that did not mean there was ‘no prospect of recovery’.

‘Recovery does not mean a return to full health, but the resumption of a quality of life that David James would regard as  ‘worthwhile,’ he said. To insist otherwise ‘set the standard unduly high’.

 I personally have no intention of enduring such a constrained existence and have a living will that forbids relatives from doing what this man’s did (no fear of that; in fact I probably need a will preventing my family from doing me in now). And I have no especial concern that a hospital would seek to reserve scare resources for patients with a better chance of recovering to a full life, but when that sort of rationing is done, when patients and their families have to go to court to overrule a hospital’s decision to withhold care, there’s a death panel at work, call it what you will.
Again – I can live (or die) with that; it’s an inevitable consequence of depending on charity for one’s medical care, but we shouldn’t deny that that’s what in our own country’s future or ridicule people who point that out. Tell the truth.

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2 responses to “Death panels in English medicine

  1. Inagua

    Very well put, Chris. We have become a country where the majority of the inhabitants are dependent by nature and look to the government for support. The “habits of mind” and “voluntary associations” that Tocqueville identified are no longer dominant. We are about where Britain was in 1948 when it created the National Health Service.

  2. AJ

    Who needs death panels when you can do yourself in with meth. These before and after photos show how meth will have you looking twice as chic as heroin chic in only half the time. And you thought smoking was stupid.

    ‘The horror of Meth: Before-and-after pictures reveal shocking transformation in faces of users hooked on deadly drug’
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2244031/The-horror-Meth-Before-pictures-reveal-shocking-transformation-faces-users-hooked-deadly-drug.html?ICO=most_read_module