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October 7th, 2013 6:06 pm
Britain’s Version of ‘Death Panels’

In a wide-ranging indictment of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), Philip Klein describes just how easy it is for government-run health care to turn into a nightmare.

“One of the most recent scandals has its roots in the 1990s, when the NHS established a set of best practices for providing care to patients at the end of their lives. Known as the Liverpool Care Pathway, it has since been applied to hundreds of thousands of people,” writes Klein.

“Last November, the Mail reported, an independent review found that 60,000 people were put on the pathway without their consent and a third of the time families weren’t even informed. Thus, they had no idea that their close relatives were removed from life support equipment and were being denied nourishment. In extreme cases, nurses shouted at relatives who attempted to give their dying loved ones sips of water. According to the Mail, hospitals were given incentive payments for putting more people on the pathway – effectively, the government was providing bonuses for ending people’s lives earlier.” (Emphasis added)

After a huge outcry, NHS is abandoning the Liverpool Care Pathway, admitting that “Caring for the dying must never again be practiced as a tick-box exercise and each patient must be cared for according to their individual needs.”

This is welcome news for those saved from murder, but it is cold comfort for the 60,000 Britons who were intentionally killed by their caregiver.

As this example from the world’s most famous single-payer health system attests, death panels are a logical extension of government-run health care. Cost-benefit calculations can easily be made to discard individuals for the sake of the faceless collective; especially when the doctor, the actuary, and the bean counter all work for the same government.

Interestingly, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) didn’t mention any of the horrors Klein catalogues in his op-ed to Britons explaining why Obamacare is a “good first step” toward a single-payer system like NHS.

No wonder.

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