Many people have heard of Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff. He is called Rahmbo “Dead Fish” Emanuel by Sean Hannity because once when a pollster angered him, he sent that pollster a dead fish in the mail. Mark Levin, the very successful conservative radio talk show host refers to Emanuel as Al Capone because of his political strong arm tactics and also because he hails from the Chicago political machine. But there is another Emanuel brother that is working behind the scenes at the White House. This Emanuel brother is no stranger to the White House; he served on President Clinton’s Health Care Task Force and is now enjoying a very powerful role in the latest push to get socialized medicine finalized. His name is Ezekiel Emanuel and he received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in political philosophy from Harvard University. He was a fellow in the Program in Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. And after finishing his internship in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and his oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he was asked to join the faculty there. Before he joined the National Institutes of Health, he was an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Further, Dr. Emanuel is responsible for The Medical Directive, which is a comprehensive living will. It was endorsed by Consumer Reports on Health, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Health Letter, to name a few. He has been published on the ethics of clinical research, international research ethics, end of life issues, physician-patient relationships and of course health care reform in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, JAMA and others. On paper, he seems to be a highly credentialed, successful person and an obvious choice to help Obama tackle the health care issue.
Let’s dig a bit deeper, shall we? On January 31st of this year, Dr. Emanuel co-authored a paper that was published in The Lancet. It was titled, “Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions.” The summary of the article talks about ethical dilemmas surrounding the allocation of medical resources, the main way that costs are contained in socialized medicine. “Allocation of very scarce medical interventions such as organs and vaccines is a persistent ethical challenge. We evaluate eight simple allocation principles that can be classified into four categories: treating people equally, favoring the worst-off, maximizing total benefits, and promoting and rewarding social usefulness.” The summary to the article goes on to say, “How can scarce medical interventions be allocated justly? This paper identifies and evaluates eight simple principles that have been suggested. Although some are better than others, no single principle allocates interventions justly. Rather, morally relevant simple principles must be combined into multi-principle allocation systems. We evaluate three existing systems and then recommend a new one: the complete lives system.”
The complete lives system? What exactly does that mean? Well, by reading the article, it is basically saying that young people in their 20s or 30s should receive more health care than someone in their 60s, 70s or 80s and more than an infant. Why? Because the infant has not had the “expense” of schooling, teaching, feeding – all considered “investments” (where have we heard that word before? Oh yeah, Obama uses it all the time) by the parents. The elderly person has benefited from all these “investments,” but has fewer productive years left to contribute to society. That is the mantra of the Marxist. What can an individual contribute? When the philosophy is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” you begin to see why each potential patient is evaluated by what he can contribute. The Marxist needs as many productive people as possible to contribute so that they can provide their “free” services.
But wait, if you don’t take my word for this, let’s look at what Dr. Emanuel says. I will take it right from his article: “Because none of the currently used systems satisfy all ethical requirements for just allocation, we propose an alternative: the complete lives system. This system incorporates five principles: youngest-first, prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value. As such, it prioritizes younger people who have not yet lived a complete life and will be unlikely to do so without aid. Consideration of the importance of complete lives also supports modifying the youngest-first principle by prioritizing adolescents and young adults over infants. Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. Similarly, adolescence brings with it a developed personality capable of forming and valuing long-term plans whose fulfillment requires a complete life.”
This is the same Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel that said most Physicians take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously. The New York Post quotes Dr. Emanuel in a July 24th, 2009 story, “Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, “as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others” (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).”
From The Lancet article which I cite above, here is how Dr. Emanuel defends giving more medical care to young people as opposed to the elderly. “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years.” So since you have been 25 once, it is okay to deny health care to you when you are 65. No, that isn’t discrimination at all. This is the man that has a direct line to Obama. Has his ear, if you will on the health care issue (insert big ear joke here.) But this is no laughing matter. If we fail to fight this, then we will all be subject to this type of totalitarian medical rationing.
Right now Obama is scrambling. He more than likely isn’t getting his health care-destroying legislation through before the summer break in Congress. He now has to really ratchet up the pressure on the House and Senate to get what he wants. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, your Congressman and Senator are going home for their summer break. Many will be having town hall meetings, and other public functions. We must all be aware of these and show up, telling them that we DO NOT WANT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!! This is the time to act and we need to make sure we spread the word. Health care reform is needed. But socialized medicine is not health care reform.