**Posted by Phineas
One of the ways socialized medicine controls cost is to ration care, denying treatment when it’s determined not to be “cost-effective.” Particularly vulnerable are the elderly, who tend to need medical services the most but, according to some people (1) with with connections to the president, really haven’t got much time left, anyway, so care given to them would be better-directed toward those with more to contribute to society.
If you want to see how that works out in practice, just look to the UK, where they’ve had socialized medicine under the NHS since the 1940s.
God help you if you grow old, there:
When Kenneth Warden was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, his hospital consultant sent him home to die, ruling that at 78 he was too old to treat.
Even the palliative surgery or chemotherapy that could have eased his distressing symptoms were declared off-limits because of his age.
His distraught daughter Michele Halligan accepted the sad prognosis but was determined her father would spend his last months in comfort. So she paid for him to seen privately by a second doctor to discover what could be done to ease his symptoms.
Thanks to her tenacity, Kenneth got the drugs and surgery he needed — and as a result his cancer was actually cured. Four years on, he is a sprightly 82-year-old who works out at the gym, drives a sports car and competes in a rowing team.
‘You could call his recovery amazing,’ says Michele, 51. ‘It is certainly a gift. But the fact is that he was written off because of his age. He was left to suffer so much, and so unnecessarily.’
There’s much more to read in the article, the thrust of which is about age discrimination. It’s estimated that around 14,000 elderly Britons die because they are denied the care they need because their NHS doctor has decided they’re too old to undergo the therapy. And yet, as the case of Mr. Warden and others show, advances in geriatric medicine and surgery have greatly increased the chances of such treatment succeeding.
Left unspoken in the article is the origin of this discrimination against the elderly: the bureaucratic pressure to cut costs that in turn leads to decisions on who’s worth the expense of treating — and who isn’t.
Seems to me she just looked across the Atlantic and saw the future.
via Peter Robinson at Ricochet
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)