The more that is published these days, the more I think that the end game with Obamacare is to totally deny human dignity in favor of saving the maximum amount of money possible. It may sound like a crazy deduction until we start thinking about what is really happening right now in America.
Currently in Congress there is an effort among progressives to pass legislation that would change the way healthcare is delivered. The goal, according to one analysis, is to replace “standard care with palliative care (symptom treatment and hospice) for sick people, in lieu of costly life-saving treatments.”
Sounds like rationing to me.
The name of the group pushing these measures is the Patient Quality of Life Coalition. Sad to say, Catholic healthcare’s Supportive Care Coalition is part of the push, part of the coalition, and therefore part of the problem.
In case you are not up to snuff on these questions, let’s just say that when the Supportive Care Coalition’s homepage tells everybody that it is the “voice of advocacy for palliative care,” we can translate that into meaning that it is part of the effort to redefine pain management that moderates the pain for the ill and dying into terminal medication for cost-saving purposes. It’s euthanasia with a pretty face.
This is the lesson we learned when we began studying the organizations pushing palliative care and redefining what the term means. This new way of looking at healthcare for the aged, disabled, and dying has been defined as the “third path,” but I prefer to simplify it. Using medication designed to relieve suffering in such a way that it relieves a person of his life is murder!
You can’t get any simpler than that.
So what has happened to respect for the dignity of the human person?
Let’s look at what that dignity means. My dear friend, Bernard Nathanson, M.D., (1926-2011) described it this way when talking with Father Frank Pavone during an interview:
Well, dignity is something which I spent a great deal of time on since I wrote my dissertation in bioethics on it. But, basically it’s very simple and it’s not a complex issue at all. Dignity resides in what is called “Imago Dei.” I mean, I’ve explored all the other sources of dignity and in general people confuse the appearance of dignity with dignity itself. Dignity is intrinsic within the human being. It is given to us by God. It is untouchable. You cannot have your dignity taken away or enhanced or reduced. The appearance of dignity . . . yes, or respect for dignity . . . yes, those things are changeable, but the dignity itself is not.
The Bible confirms this teaching (imago dei) that man is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, an attack on an innocent human being with the intention of ending that person’s life—no matter how young, no matter how old—is a direct attack on God Himself. God gives that dignity and we are called to respect that gift in ourselves and in every single person we encounter.
The result of not doing so is barbarism.
It is clear to me that the worst-case scenario, first defined by Sarah Palin, on the coming age of healthcare rationing under Obamacare has come to pass. The pieces are in place, the anti-human dignity philosophy underpins the very mechanism of the program/law, and as Kris Held, M.D. says in a very well-researched article, “The age of Obamacare-Legislated-Death (O.L.D.) is upon us. O.L.D. – yes, bad things come in threes.”