Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Durand On Rationing

I don't know much about Sarah Durand, but she wrote an interesting piece on PajamasMedia on the planned health care rationing algorithm entitled, "Health Care vs. the Value of Human Life".

Here is an excerpt:
...In fact, most countries with socialized medicine, including Britain, are already using a mathematical formula that expresses the numerical value of one year of a human life in a measurement called the QALY, or "quality-adjusted life year." In terms of determining medical care, the mathematical formula of the QALY is based on both how much a treatment may lengthen your lifespan and the quality of the life you will be living.

Basically, if you are in optimal health, the QALY of one year of your life is 1.0. But if you have any underlying conditions, like asthma or muscular dystrophy, your QALY is much lower. Under the QALY system, the blind are worth less than those with sight, as those who can walk are worth more than those in wheelchairs. Sound like discrimination against persons with disabilities? It gets worse.

...As if that's not bad enough, the health advisor to the president, Ezekiel Emanuel, is proposing a system even more deleterious. His system, similar to the QALY, is "the complete lives system," which not only allows for discrimination against the elderly and disabled, but also targets the very young, i.e., our children.

Emanuel says of his system: "When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated."

Leave it to American progressives to take the QALY one step further by defining quality of life as how useful you are to society -- that is, how likely you are to increase the government's tax revenue, hence the emphasis on those between ages 15 and 40. Health care gets a lot cheaper by rationing care to all non-taxpayers.
(Emphasis mine.)

This collectivist mindset towards human life will be the inevitable outcome if we let the government control our health care.

(Read the full text of "Health Care vs. the Value of Human Life".)