Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rationing or Rational Care.

Yesterday PBS posted an excerpt of the Miller Center event "Debating the Ethics of Rationing End of Life Care," a roundtable that included Dr. Arthur Caplan, Dr. Ira Byock, and some guy with a Texas accent going on about "faceless bean-counting bureaucrats." And a nurse, Marie Hiliard of the USCCB's Advisory Council and the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Oh wait, that was Kenneth Connor from Center for a Just Society where it's all about Judeo-Christian values all the time, whether you're Jewish or Christian or not. Cause if you're not, God and your government think your health care should be! Connor is so radical, I have no idea why he was even included here; his participation only legitimizes the Just Society premise (Their God makes your health care decisions, not yours) and muddies the chance of a productive conversation. I guess the organizers were going for "fair and balanced" controversy.

In other words, moderator Susan Dentzer, editor in chief of Health Affairs, set up the premise that two doctors are pitted against two "pro-life" activists.

Byock and Caplan make strong cases. The other two have Luntz-like talking points. I can't help but feel that a great opportunity was missed here.

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