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Obamacare called ‘euthanasia bill’

Critic: ‘Reflects regime worse
than China’s one-child policy’

July 31, 2009

By Bob Unruh


President Obama
The Democrats’ proposed national health insurance plan would dictate medications, treatments and mental health services; determine coverages individuals are allowed to have; and operate with real-time access to personal bank accounts, according to a new analysis.

And it’s worse, a critic said, than China’s mandatory one-child policy.

“In the same way that the bill pushes elderly or the sick toward euthanasia, it is a pill that would cause economic suicide,” said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. “It’s a euthanasia bill for America.”

Congress members have admitted they have not read the more-than-1,000-page bill, and Staver’s organization is one of the first to go through it and offer an analysis.

In the Liberty Counsel analysis, Staver notes that under Section 163, the government would be allowed to have real-time access to individuals’ finances, including direct access to bank accounts for electronic funds transfers.

Under Section 1308, the analysis finds, the government will dictate marriage and family therapy as well as mental health services, including the definitions of those treatments.

Will the elites control life itself? ‘The Emerging Brave New World’ documents the battle against the sanctity of life ethic

Under Section 1401, a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research would be set up, creating a bureaucracy through which federal employees could determine whether any treatment is “comparatively effective” for any individual based on the cost, likely success and probably the years left in life.

(Story continues below)

It also, according to Staver, “covers abortions, transsexual surgeries, encourages counseling as to how many children you should have, whether you should increase the interval between children.”

The plan would allow, in Section 1401, for the collection of information about individuals’ health records, both “published and unpublished,” and recommend policies for public access to data.

“It reflects a repressive regime worse than China’s one-child policy,” Staver told WND. “It’s going down the road for a government that manages the most intimate matters of your life regarding health and safety.”

Further, the plan is created to be the “only game in town,” he said. And as people age or get sicker, it includes mandatory “consultations” offering suggestions on how to end life sooner, he said.

The Liberty Counsel staff that did the research was “astonished” by what they found.

J. Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs for Liberty Counsel, said in a commentary the bill reflects the influence of those who now surround President Obama.

“His choice of Harvard professor and self-styled ‘neo-Malthusain’ John Holdren as ‘science czar’ provides the latest and perhaps most troubling example of just how bad America really muffed it last November,” Barber wrote.

“In the name of population control, Holdren has advocated both forced abortion and compulsory sterilization through government-administered tainting of the water supply. In a book he co-authored, entitled ‘Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,’ Holdren calls for a ‘Planetary Regime’ to enforce mandatory abortions and limit the use of natural resources,” he wrote.

Staver pointed to some of Holdren’s outrageous suggestions, such as implanting sterility capsules in girls at puberty and extracting them only when they obtain government permission to have children. For men, he has suggested putting additives in the water system to cause sterility.

Barber wrote that Holdren has affirmed he believes there is “ample authority” under the U.S. Constitution for population growth to be “regulated.”

“Even ... laws requiring compulsory abortion … could be sustained under the existing Constitution,” Holdren suggested.

Nina May, founder of Renaissance Women, added to the arguments. She cited a 1948 Hitchcock movie about murder in which the victim’s body is hidden in plain sight.

“The health care bill that Obama proposes has this theme at its core and has in its crosshairs the Baby Boomer engine that is pulling the derailed economy as it takes its final lap toward retirement. In less than two years, Baby Boomers will begin retiring in multitudes, expecting to reclaim the hard earned money they have been paying into Social Security. But this Health Care Bill, HR3200, has other plans for them,” she wrote.

“Those 65 and older will be required to undergo mandatory ‘end of life’ counseling to determine if they are worthy to continue to not only live, but take much needed resources from those who are younger and more worthy to receive them. Counselors will be trained to discuss how to end life sooner, how to decline nutrition and hydration, how to go into hospice, etc.,” she said.

“This will not be done without coercion. For those who have amassed assets enough to take care of themselves in their old age will have these assets confiscated in the name of fiscal responsibility, because by this time, every citizen will be entered into a national database under the guise of improved efficiency. This database will be run by a type of ‘star chamber,’ appointed by the president, that will determine whether or not you deserve the much needed operation your personal doctor thinks you need,” she said.

The Liberty Counsel analysis also pointed out the government would be allowed to ration health care procedures, prevent “judicial review” of its decision, tell doctors what income they can have, impose new taxes for anyone not having an “acceptable” coverage, regulate whether seniors can have wheelchairs, penalize hospitals or doctors whose patients require “readmission,” prevent the expansion of hospitals and set up procedures for home visits by health care analysts.

Under Section 440, Liberty Counsel said, the government “will design and implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids and families that expect children.” And Section 194 provides for a program that has the government “coming into your house and teaching/telling you how to parent,” LC said.

WND reported earlier when Betsy McCaughey, the former New York state officer, told former presidential candidate Fred Thompson during an interview on his radio program the health care plan includes consultations for seniors on how to die.

“One of the most shocking things is page 425, where the Congress would make it mandatory absolutely that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session,” she said. “They will tell [them] how to end their life sooner.”

The proposal specifically calls for the consultation to recommend “palliative care and hospice” for seniors in their mandatory counseling sessions. Palliative care and hospice generally focus only on pain relief until death.

The measure requires “an explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available

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Listening to a Liar: Part II
Thomas Sowell
Thursday, September 10, 2009

“Hubris-laden charlatans” was the way a recent e-mail from a reader characterized the Obama administration. That phrase seems especially appropriate for the Charlatan-in-Chief, Barack Obama, whose speech to a joint session of Congress was both a masterpiece of rhetoric and a shameless fraud.

To tell us, with a straight face, that he can insure millions more people without adding to the already skyrocketing deficit, is world-class chutzpa and an insult to anyone’s intelligence. To do so after an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office has already showed this to be impossible reveals the depths of moral bankruptcy behind the glittering words.

Did we really need CBO experts to tell us that there is no free lunch? Some people probably did and the true believers in the Obama cult may still believe the President, instead of believing either common sense or budget experts.

Even those who can believe that Obama can conjure up the money through eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse” should ask themselves where he is going to conjure up the additional doctors, nurses, and hospitals needed to take care of millions more patients.

If he can’t pull off that miracle, then government-run medical care in the United States can be expected to produce what government-run medical care in Canada, Britain, and other countries has produced— delays of weeks or months to get many treatments, not to mention arbitrary rationing decisions by bureaucrats.

Obama can deny it in words but what matters are deeds— and no one’s words have been more repeatedly the direct opposite of his deeds— whether talking about how his election campaign would be financed, how he would not rush legislation through Congress, or how his administration was not going to go after CIA agents for their past efforts to extract information from captured terrorists.

President Obama has also declared emphatically that he will not interfere in the internal affairs of other nations— while telling the Israelis where they can and cannot build settlements and telling the Hondurans whom they should and should not choose to be their president.

One of the secrets of being a glib talker is not getting hung up over whether what you are saying is true, and instead giving your full attention to what is required by the audience and the circumstances of the moment, without let..ting facts get in your way and cramp your st...yle. Obama has mastered that art.

Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe. No message has been more welcomed by the gullible, in countries around the world, than the promise of something for nothing. That is the core of Barack Obama’s medical care plan.

President Obama tells us that he will impose various mandates on insurance companies but will not interfere with our free choice between being insured by these companies or by the government. But if he can drive up the cost of private insurance with mandates and subsidize government insurance with the taxpayers’ money, how long do you think it will be before we have the “single payer” system has he has advocated in the past?

Mandates by politicians are what have driven up the cost of insurance already. Politicians love to play Santa Claus and leave it to others to raise prices to cover the inevitable costs.

Politicians have driven privately owned municipal transit systems out of business in many cities, by simply imposing costs and restricting the fare increases needed to cover those costs. The federal government can drive out private insurance the same way that local politicians have driven out private municipal transit and replaced it with government-run transit systems.

Barack Obama’s insistence that various dangerous policies are not in the legislation he proposes sounds good but means nothing. Unbridled power is a blank check, no matter what its rationale may be. No law gave the President of the United States the power to fire the head of General Motors, but TARP money did.

When there are “advisory” panels on what treatments to approve and the White House’s existing medical advisor has complained of Americans’ “over-utilization” of medical care, what does it take to connect the dots?

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An Unnecessary Operation. Obamacare threatens what's right with American health care.
The Weekly Standard ^ | September 21, 2009 | Fred Barnes
This is the poll number that drives supporters of Obamacare crazy: Eighty-nine percent of Americans in a June 2008 ABC News/USA Today/Kaiser Family Foundation survey said they were satisfied with their health care. Put another way, more than 270 million Americans (I'm including kids) are reasonably happy with the system of medical care in this country.
Other polls have found the same level of satisfaction. One reason is the availability of first-rate care almost everywhere, day or night. But there's a more important reason: If you have a serious ailment, your chances of survival are better when treated in America than anywhere else in the world.
Sure, the system has flaws, shortcomings, and inefficiencies. It probably costs too much. But if your goal is to live longer, then American doctors and American hospitals are your best bet. Americans appear to understand this. So do the 400,000 foreign patients who come here every year for medical care. "Not too many people get on a plane and fly to Cuba or to France" to see a doctor, says Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, associate dean of clinical education at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an expert on worldwide health care systems.
Why would they go anywhere but here? America provides timely access--and not just for the wealthy--to the latest and most innovative technology, a full array of breakthrough drugs, and the top medical specialists. "If you have an acute illness, this is the country to get your care," Goldfarb says. "If you're not that ill, other countries are great." Even if you're not seriously ill, American doctors have more to offer. The two most significant innovations for patient care in the past decade are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT), according to Dr. Scott Atlas, chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical School.
The United States has 27 MRI machines per million Americans. Canada and Britain have 6 per million. The United States has 34 CT scanners per million. Canada has 12 per million, Britain 8. And utilization of MRI and CT technology has become routine in America. My wife had an X-ray after injuring her ankle last spring and the diagnosis was she'd broken a bone. When it was slow to heal, she had an MRI, which revealed she'd actually torn a tendon. Now her ankle is healing. Our share of the cost was minimal. Health insurance pays for tests, and you don't need a Cadillac policy to be covered.
A little-known fact: Out-of-pocket expenses by American patients amounted to 12.6 percent of total national health spending ($2.24 trillion) in 2007. That's one of the lowest percentages of private out-of-pocket spending among the world's advanced countries--lower than Germany, Japan, Canada, and most countries in Europe, including those with government-run health care systems.
Why do Americans get more and pay less? Because their insurance policies provide broader coverage than most government plans, says Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute. Private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid cover most of the high cost of treating critical illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. And those are the ones in which the survival rates in the United States are significantly higher than in Europe or other countries.
There are clinical data substantiating this. Two major studies (EUROCARE-4 and a study by the National Center for Epidemiology, Health Surveillance, and Promotion, in Rome, both published in the September 2007 issue of Lancet Oncology) were used to compare five-year survival rates for Americans and Europeans diagnosed with cancer.
For all cancers, 66.3 percent of American men and 63.9 percent of women survived. In Europe, 47.3 percent of men and 55.8 percent of women survived five years. Those are statistically important gaps. And the survival rates were higher in the United States for the most common cancers as well.
More than 99 percent of men with prostate cancer had survived in the United States after five years, 77.5 percent in Europe. Those with colon or rectal cancer survived at a 65.5 percent rate here and 56.2 percent in Europe. The rates for breast cancer showed a similar difference, 90.1 percent for Americans, 79 percent for Europeans.
Dr. Atlas cites a different set of results that underscore the same point: Your chances of living longer are better with treatment here. "Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom," he reports (see "Here's a Second Opinion," Hoover Digest online). "Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher." Canada, whose single-payer health system is admired by many liberals, fared better but still trailed the United States.
"Breast cancer mortality in Canada is 9 percent higher than in the United States, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher, and colon cancer among men is about 10 percent higher," according to Dr. Atlas. Gary Becker, the Nobel Prize-winning economics professor at the University of Chicago, has cited still another study, this one on the mortality rates for the second leading cause of male cancer deaths (prostate) and the deadliest cancer for women (breast).
This study, by Samuel Preston and Jessica Ho of the University of Pennsylvania, Becker wrote in his blog, found that "death rates from breast and prostate cancer declined during the past 20 years by much more in the U.S. than in 15 comparison countries of Europe and Japan." Becker draws the obvious conclusion: "These results suggest that the U.S. health care system does deliver better control over serious diseases than systems in other advanced countries."
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What gives American medicine its advantage? Success in treating cancer is largely determined by early detection and treatment and the use of the best drugs. "The United States does very well on all three criteria," Becker wrote. It helps that medical care for cancer and other deadly disease is more intensive here. Tests for colon, breast, cervical, and prostate cancer have become an integral part of American health care, far more than in other countries. Nine out of 10 middle-aged women have had a mammogram, 96 percent of all women a Pap smear. As for men, 54 percent have had the PSA test for prostate cancer, 30 percent a colonoscopy for detecting colon cancer.
Since most advances in medical care are developed here, Americans benefit from them sooner, often many years sooner. Senator Edward Kennedy received proton beam therapy, which spares other tissue while attacking cancer. It may have prolonged his life. "You don't have a chance of being exposed to that in other countries," Dr. Goldfarb says.
In treating heart disease, Americans have far more access to statin drugs that reduce cholesterol. "Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit from statin drugs .  .  . are taking them," Dr. Atlas wrote. "By comparison .  .  . only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons, and 17 percent of Italians receive them."
But breakthroughs and discoveries are enormously expensive, so much so that America spends far more on health care (now 17 percent of GDP) than any other country. Incremental advances have driven up the cost of treating heart patients especially, but their effect in saving lives is indisputable.
"Wildly successful" is the way David Brown of the Washington Post has characterized the transformation of heart treatment. "Today, someone having a heart attack who gets to a hospital in time is likely to get cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, the placement of a medicated stent, therapy with four anticoagulant drugs and, on discharge, a handful of lifetime prescriptions," he wrote.
These are innovations over the past half-century. The results are in. "In the 1960s, the chance of dying in the days immediately after a heart attack was 30 to 40 percent," Brown wrote. "In 1975, it was 27 percent. In 1984, it was 19 percent. In 1994, it was about 10 percent. Today, it's about 6 percent."
These results are matched by the success in dealing with all heart disease. "In 1970, the death rate from coronary heart disease was 448 per 100,000 people," according to Brown. "In 1980, it was 345. In 1990, it was 250. In 2000, it was 187. In 2006, it was 135." Cold numbers don't capture the breathtaking drama of what's happened. The transformation of heart care "has saved the lives of millions of Americans," Brown wrote. ".  .  . It is safe to say that almost everybody who has a heart attack wants the best treatment available.
Nobody wants to turn back the clock." Nor should they, despite higher costs. Critics of American health care, including advocates of overhauling the system and enlarging the government's role, harp on the rankings by the World Health Organization and other health organizations. These rankings are out of date, discredited, or misleading.
The WHO rated U.S. health care 37th in the world in 2000, behind Andorra, Malta, Colombia, Cyprus, and Morocco and just ahead of Slovenia and Cuba. This is not credible. To reach this ranking, the WHO used ideological assumptions--about such things as "financial fairness" and "responsiveness distribution"--heavily biased in favor of socialist countries or those with government-run health systems and against those relying on market incentives.
 "It is entirely possible to have a health care system characterized by both extensive inequality and good care for everyone," Glen Whitman, an economics professor at California State University at Northridge, concluded. Indeed, that comes close to describing the U.S. system and explains why it gets a low WHO ranking. America's relatively high rate of infant mortality is more complicated. In 2004, the United States ranked 29th in the world, based on government reports (not the WHO) from the countries ranked. Some of these statistics may be unreliable, and the standards for measuring infant deaths vary. All babies that show signs of life at birth are counted as alive in the United States, even if they die within hours. Some countries don't count infants who die within 24 hours, others register babies below a certain weight as stillborn. So comparisons among countries are unreliable.
But we do have an infant mortality problem. The chief source is preterm births, babies born at 6 or 7 months. Non-health care factors play a role. "Lower infant mortality tracks with fewer teen pregnancies, married as opposed to single mothers, less obesity and smoking, more education, and moms pregnant with babies that they are utterly intent on having," Dr. Bernadine Healey explained in U.S. News & World Report. But biological reasons for so many preterm births remain something of a mystery.
The average life expectancy of Americans (78 years) is affected by infant mortality. The WHO ranked the United States 24th in life expectancy a decade ago. But "it's not about health care," Dr. Goldfarb says. "The mortality statistics are a social phenomenon, not a health care phenomenon." Diet, lifestyle, obesity, lack of exercise, a relatively high crime rate--all play a part. But here's the good news. If you reach 80 in America, when most people are highly dependent on health care, your chances of reaching 90 are at least as good and probably better than anyone else's in the world. And of getting to 100 as well. The older you get in America, the better your prospects for living longer--thanks to American health care. Let's hope it stays that way.
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Canada’s Socialized Medicine Approaches Collapse 


As the Dems dig themselves into a hole by attempting to impose Canadian-st...yle socialized medicine on America, Canadians are trying to dig themselves out of the hole government control of healthcare has left them in.

The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country’s health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.

“We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize,” Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press. …

“(Canadians) have to understand that the system that we have right now - if it keeps on going without change - is not sustainable,” said Doig.

The good news for Canadians is at least they are moving — if far too slowly — in the direction of freedom and efficiency:

The pitch for change at the conference is to start with a presentation from Dr. Robert Ouellet, the current president of the CMA, who has said there’s a critical need to make Canada’s health-care system patient-centred. … Ouellet has been saying … “that competition should be welcomed, not feared.”

In other words, Ouellet believes there could be a role for private health-care delivery within the public system.

Meanwhile, Comrade Obama continues his attempts to impose a type of /////********//////******="BORDER-BOTTOM: #009900 1px solid; FONT-***********///////********//////******: normal; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; COLOR: #009900; FONT-WEIGHT: 400; TEXT-DECORATION: underline">healthcare system that all informed people know /////********//////******="BORDER-BOTTOM: #009900 1px solid; FONT-***********///////********//////******: normal; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; COLOR: #009900; FONT-WEIGHT: 400; TEXT-DECORATION: underline">does not work, confirming that this is about expanding government power, not providing healthcare.

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Obamacare’s Medical-Device Tax
Higher taxes, lower research spending, and pink slips for scientists.

By Deroy Murdock

Obamacare promises to make medicine cheaper by making it costlier. Case in point: The Senate Finance Committee proposes a brand-new tax on medical devices.

Manufacturers of pacemakers, stents, heart valves, artificial hips, motorized wheelchairs, and other therapeutic instruments may have lobbied this tax in half. But whether they endure the $40 billion now in the Finance Committee’s bill or a $20 billion backroom bargain, Obamacare foolishly would hike taxes on companies that generate health-advancing, life-saving mechanisms.

This Senate measure would slap a ten-year, $4 billion annual tax on medical implements that retail for $100 or more. “The $4 billion excise tax works out to a surcharge equal to $11,000 per year for every American worker employed by our industry,” Braun Medical CEO Carroll Neubauer wrote in October 22’s Huffington Post.

This $4 billion yearly tax exceeds the industry’s $3.7 billion in venture-capital receipts for 2007 and is more than 40 percent of that year’s sector-wide research-and-development outlay of $9.6 billion.

This tax approximates one-sixth of annual industry profits. How exactly will those who make hearing aids, extended-wear contact lenses, and more manufacture today’s products, pay current staffers, hire new employees, and invent tomorrow’s cures — all while this tax devours nearly 17 percent of profits?

“The bill that came out of the committee last week makes absolutely no sense and would be very damaging to Boston Scientific, and the medical device industry as a whole,” Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott journalists October 20. He predicted: “In a nutshell, it would raise costs and lead to significant job losses. It does not address the quality of care, but the political scorecard of savings.” Elliott foresees Boston Scientific’s tax liability doubling — between $150 million and $200 million — triggering layoffs of 1,000 to 2,000 employees.

Money aside, this new tax would jeopardize patients’ health and threaten their lives.

“Many of our therapies reduce procedure time, decrease hospitalizations, and empower patients to manage their diseases themselves (insulin pumps, for example) which provides significant cost savings to the system,” Medtronic spokesman Steve Cragle tells me.

Insulin pumps offer diabetics major flexibility in what they eat and when. They can exercise without doubling down on carbohydrates. They also inject themselves one tenth as often as those who use old-fashioned needles. In one recent European study, 100 percent of pump users recommended that apparatus, while only 63 percent of syringe-using diabetics endorsed that approach.

Implantable defibrillators are a 98-percent-effective treatment for ventricular arrhythmias that can cause Sudden Cardiac Death, an ailment that kills 233,000 individuals annually. Obamacare’s tax will make defibrillators and pacemakers pricier to acquire and also to refine over time. At the margins, this stupidity increases cardiac deaths.

America and Earth need more such inventions, plus continuous improvements after introduction. Why can’t diabetics enjoy pumps that automatically monitor blood sugars and inject insulin — essentially artificial pancreases? Every dollar this proposed tax whisks to Washington is one less dollar available for the research and development needed to make such medical dreams come true.

“Clearly, the Democrats are looking for any way to offset the cost of their proposed health-care plan,” says New York financier Brett A. Shisler, a member of the
Manhattan Institute’s Young Leaders Circle. “However, they may have neglected the fact that these devices not only save lives, but cut overall health-care costs. As a diabetic who uses a Deltec CoZmo insulin pump to manage my glucose levels, I visit the doctor half as often, eliminated my annual hospital visits, and likely reduced any future diabetes-related complications, as compared to when I was administering insulin through daily injections.”

“The situation all comes down to shared responsibility,” Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) told journalists on October 19. “We’re all in this together as Americans. That means individuals, providers, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry — and medical device manufacturers.”

Baucus is correct. Medical-gear makers should underwrite their fair share of whatever health-care reform might become law. They should do this by paying their corporate taxes, just like any other company. Period. Taxing this industry to overhaul health care is as boneheaded as charging police-car manufacturers a dedicated anti-crime tax.

These enterprises help Americans enjoy longer, happier, healthier lives. Why do Democrats want to give them 40 billion lashes, rather than applaud their priceless work?

Obama, Baucus, and too many Democrats have an almost touching naïveté about how the world works. Pounding this industry with punitive taxes will yield fewer — not more — life-extending and life-enhancing innovations.

Higher taxes, lower research spending, and pink slips for scientists: Democrat beatings will continue until medicine improves.

— Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution. 

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‘Bioethicists’ and Obama agree: infanticide should be legal
by Lita Cosner

2 July 2008

     What does Barack Hussein Obama, who is now set to become the Democrat nomination for Presidential Candidate of the United States, have in common with so called ‘bioethicists’ such as Peter Singer and Joseph Fletcher? They all advocate that parents have a ‘right’ to kill their baby, not just before birth, but even immediately after the child is born.

Photo wikipedia

Peter Singer

Peter Singer

Peter Singer: infanticide-supporting ‘bioethicist’

      Peter Singer (1946–) is probably the most well-known bioethicist who, though he is too humane to eat a hamburger and advocates giving rights to great apes, has no qualms about infanticide. To him, an unborn child only acquires ‘moral significance’ at around 20 weeks’ gestation, when the baby is able to feel pain. But ‘[e]ven when the fetus does develop a capacity to feel pain—probably in the last third of the pregnancy—it still does not have the self-awareness of a chimpanzee, or even a dog’, and so he gives greater ‘moral significance’ to the chimpanzee and dog than to the unborn child.1

    He readily admits that the unborn child is fully human, but argues that the humanity of the unborn child does not obligate society to preserve that life. In Rethinking Life and Death, Singer takes the view that ‘newborn-infants, especially if unwanted, are not yet full members of the moral community’, and proposes a 28-day period in which the infant might be killed before being granted full human rights.2 In a 2007 column, Singer seems to reverse his pposition on the acceptability of infanticide in most cases, but makes it clear that it is not because a child acquires a new ‘moral significance’ once it exits the womb, but because ‘the criminal law needs clear dividing lines and, in normal circumstances, birth is the best we have.’3

     However, he argued in another article that, due to the high rate of disability in very premature infants, doctors should not treat babies born before 26 weeks of gestation if the parents of such a child decide not to treat their infant.4 Singer asserts: ‘killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.’5 Indeed, this sort of thought has been the basis of wrongful birth lawsuits by parents who claim that their disabled children should not have been born.

    Situation ethics
Singer’s bizarre views on human life may belong on the lunatic fringe, but they are fairly mainstream in what passes for ‘bioethics’. Singer’s views stem from a philosophy known as utilitarianism, in which the stated goal is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain for the most people possible. So the ‘right’ decision in any given situation is that which results in the most pleasure and the least pain for the greatest amount of people.

     The use of utilitarian ethics was popularized by Joseph Fletcher (1905–1991), an apostate Episcopalian minister who became an atheist. He is best known for creating ‘situation ethics’, and was hailed ‘the patriarch of bioethics’ by bioethicist and former Roman Catholic priest Albert R. Johsen (1931–).6 Situation ethics can be summed in the book transcript of a debate between Fletcher and the Christian apologist and lawyer John Warwick Montgomery (1931–):

‘ … Whether we ought to follow a moral principle or not would always depend upon the situation. … In some situations unmarried love could be infinitely more moral than married unlove. Lying could be more Christian than telling the truth … stealing could be better than respecting private property … no action is good or right of itself. It depends on whether it hurts or helps people. … There are no normative moral principles whatsoever which are intrinsically valid or universally obliging.    

     We may not absolutize the norms of human conduct. … Love is the highest good and the first-order value, the primary consideration to which in every act … we should be prepared to sidetrack or subordinate other value considerations of right and wrong.’7
      Situation ethicists shouldn’t be trusted under their own belief system, because they could happily deceive you if the situation were right.

     Montgomery scored a powerful point with the audience when he showed that situation ethicists shouldn’t be trusted under their own belief system, because they could happily deceive you if the situation were right.

      The Christian viewpoint is that moral absolutes are real (see the articles under Are there such things as moral absolutes?). Where there is a conflict, the resolution is not situational but depends on the biblical hierarchy of absolutes: duty to God > duty to man > duty to property; obeying God’s laws > obeying the government. This system is called graded absolutism, where there are exemptions rather than exceptions to moral absolutes, i.e. the duty to obey the higher aabsolute exempts one from the duty to obey the lower one.8

Fletcher also popularized the distinction between ‘human being’ and ‘person’ that is central to Singer’s ethics
.9 He proposed a formula to determine whether an individual qualified as a ‘person’, with requirements such as ‘minimum intelligence’, ‘self awareness’, ‘memory’, and ‘communication’.10 Singer’s denial of the unborn child’s personhood is central to his justification for abortion, as he freely admits that the unborn child is alive and human.11 Tom Beauchamp goes as far as to say, ‘Many humans lack properties of personhood or are less than full persons, they are thereby rendered equal or inferior in moral standing to some nonhumans.’12

    Pro-aborts like to claim that science is on their side [but] they have to resort to fuzzy concepts like ‘personhood’. Conversely, pro-lifers generally point out the genuinely scientific criteria for when the individual’s life begins.

     It’s notable that while the pro-aborts like to claim that science is on their side, they have to resort to fuzzy concepts like ‘personhood’.   Conversely, pro-lifers generally point out the genuinely scientific criteria for when the individual’s life begins. And they are on a sound basis. With improved 4D ultrasound technology, it is now possible to view a child in the womb with clarity, and in real time, that leaves no question that he is a distinct living being. Genetic evidence supports this even more strongly:

    ‘The task force finds that the new recombinant DNA technologies indisputably prove that the unborn child is a whole human being from the moment of fertilization, that all abortions terminate the life of a human being, and that the unborn child is a separate human patient under the care of modern medicine.’13
     So the pro-abortion camp changed the definition of ‘person’ from ‘living member of the human species’ to a nebulous definition that could be twisted around to fit their ends (one notices that a bioethicist never seems to think that he himself is not a person worthy of protection under the law). Indeed, as will be shown, a child may fall short of the definition of ‘person’ even after birth.

     Evolutionary basis for denial of sanctity of innocent14 human life
     Of course, this view of human life is antithetical to the biblical teaching of mankind as beings created in the image of God, and therefore possessing great intrinsic worth. Bioethicist Daniel Callahan argued that ‘[t]he first thing that … bioethics had to do … was to push religion aside.’15 Euthanasia advocate Dan Brock, Harvard University Program in Ethics and Health, argued:

     ‘This rights view of the wrongness of killing is not, of course, universally shared. Many people’s moral views on the wrongness of killing have their origins in religious views that human life comes from God and cannot be justifiably destroyed or taken away, either by the person whose life it is or by another. But in a pluralistic society like our own, with a strong commitment to freedom of religion, public policy should not be grounded in religious beliefs which many in society reject.’16
     In Australia, Philip Nitschke (1947–), Founder of the pro-euthanasia organisation EXIT International, said much the same thing:

      ‘Many people I meet andbelieve that your body belongs to God and that to cut short a life is a crime against  argue with believe that human life is sacred. I do not. … If you God then you will clearly not agree with my thoughts on this issue.’
    ‘I do not mind people holding these beliefs and suffering as much as they wish as they die. For them, … if that is their belief they are welcome to it, but I strongly object to having those views shoved down my neck. I want my belief—that human life is not sacred—accorded the same respect.’17
       Of course, the bioethicists would like one to overlook the fact that they believe public policy should be grounded in their own atheistic religious beliefs which most in society reject.

      Singer (Obama's ethicist) openly derides those who claim that human life is intrinsically valuable:

‘[S]ome opponents of abortion respond that the fetus, unlike the dog or chimpanzee, is made in the image of God, or has an immortal soul. They thereby acknowledge religion is the driving force behind their opposition. But there is no evidence for these religious claims, and in a society in which we keep the state and religion separate, we should not use them as a basis for the criminal law, which applies to people with different religious beliefs, or to those with none at all.’18
   However, all law stems from some group’s perception of morality; why should Singer’s view of morality be the basis for law simply because it is godless? In light of the fact that most of the atrocities of the 20th century were committed under atheistic regimes, one might think that a religious aspect in ethics is a good thing.

     In Roe v. Wade, the infamous 1973 US Supreme Court decision that overturned individual states’ bans on all types of abortion, unborn infants were declared to not be ‘persons’ with the right to life under the Constitution, based on ignorance of when precisely life begins. But the justices did manage to find a ‘right’ to abortion in the Constitution that no one had ever noticed before, or as widely cited legal scholar John Ely (1938–2003) put it:

    ‘the Court had simply manufactured a constitutional right out of whole cloth and used it to superimpose its own view of wise social policy on those of the legislatures.’19
Unwelcome’ side-effect of abortion: infants who survive!

    The Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA) at the national level, and various bills like it in state legislatures, was introduced in response to reports that some victims of botched abortion, who were born alive, were being left to die. Jill Stanek was a nurse who testified about this practice, having seen infants shelved in dirty utility rooms to die. The BAIPA guaranteed infants born under such circumstances the same right to treatment as other prematurely born children, whether or not the parents wanted the child to be treated.

    The bill passed the Senate unanimously, with even the most pro-abortion senators agreeing that once a child was born, the mother’s so-called ‘right to choose’ ended. In 2002, BAIPA was signed into law at the national level.

However, in the Illinois senate, a state version of the law failed to pass repeatedly, thanks in large part to then-State Senator Barack Obama (1961–). The Illinois BAIPA only passed after Obama left the State Senate. Stanek reports that when she testified before a committee of which Obama was a member:

      ‘Obama articulately worried that legislation protecting live aborted babies might infringe on women’s rights or abortionists’ rights. Obama’s clinical discourse, his lack of mercy, shocked me. I was naive back then. Obama voted against the measure, twice. It ultimately failed. In 2003, as chairman of the next Senate committee to which BAIPA was sent, Obama stopped it from even getting a hearing, shelving it to die much like babies were still being shelved to die in Illinois hospitals and abortion clinics.’20
     At the national level, Obama has proved to be one of the most pro-abortion senators, going so far as to vote against a law that would require an abortionist performing an abortion on a minor transported across state lines to notify at least one parent. He opposed the US Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on partial-birth abortion, the gruesome procedure in which a late-term baby’s body is delivered leaving only the head in the birth canal, when the abortionist sucks the baby’s brains out then delivers the dead baby now that the head has been suitably shrunk.21

    Obama v Christian ethics
I don’t want them [my daughters] punished with a baby. … Evolution is more grounded in my experience than angels—Barack Obama

It is hard to justify such extremism as support for ‘women’s rights’, especially when, in many places in the world, abortion targets unborn girls over boys.

Obama said regarding his own daughters that he didn’t want them ‘punished with a baby’ if they had an unwanted pregnancy.22

   But the Bible regards children as blessings to be thankful for, not as nuisances (Psalm 127:4–5). Many stories in Scripture revolve around women who are heartbroken over their inability to have children and are blessed finally with sons of their own (Sarah, Rebekah, Hannah, Elizabeth), and the Bible speaks clearly about the humanity of the unborn (Genesis 25:21–22, Psalm 139:13–16, Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 1:41–44).

     Obama may not openly or even consciously support the utilitarian ethic that Singer and most other bioethicists embrace, but his  pposition on infanticide, devaluing certain human life as unworthy of life, has its roots in evolutionary utilitarian thought and defining personhood separately from humanity. But it should be no surprise—Obama is an ardent evolutionist, saying, ‘Evolution is more grounded in my experience than angels’.

    However, at least the atheistic bioethicists like Singer and Fletcher are being consistent—one may call their worldview evil and abominable, but not illogical. But Obama claims to be a Christian while embracing positions that are inherently antithetical to any Christian ethic. As inexcusable as it is to claim to be too humane to eat meat while advocating baby butchery, it is worse to be pro-infanticide while claiming to worship the God in whose image the babies are made.

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THE MONSTER OF PHILADELPHIA - Why the shock, Why the outrage, Why now?
 By Kevin McCullough 1/23/2011

     The grand jury's indictment read as one of the most disgusting litanies of murder we've seen in all of western culture.

     For over two decades Kermitt Gosnell illegally sold prescriptions by day, and on the side, induced early delivery in expectant, indigent, and immigrant mothers. When those induced deliveries did not kill the child off, Gosnell would then either snip the spinal cord with a pair of scissors, slit the throat of the child, or have an assistant (usually unlicensed) do the same.

    The women who survived these procedures on at least two occasions fared no better, and now the nation knows that this serial killer will, with any justice at all, go away for the rest of his life. At least he should.

     As news of Gosnell's West Philadelphia "practice" made headlines this week you could not help but be moved by the torture, pain, and death this person caused.

      The outrage was justifiable.

The discussions of how he was allowed to operate under the radar screen for so long were more than valid. Legitimate questions that were raised by the grand jury deserve answers, and the tax-payers of Pennsylvania need to know that such animals will be dealt with harshly, efficiently, and my preference woul d be--permanently.

      Gosnell's last state inspection, according to public records, was in 1993. The general state of things at his clinic location seemed to verify this as human remains and medical waste were stored in boxes in the basement dating from that time. The stories of how he had allowed women to bleed out in the same facilities where his cats would urinate and defecate have been confirmed by multiple women.

      He was a monster. He was out of control. He deserves justice to the fullest measure--even if that were to mean the state took his life as a result.

     It was as I was reading the details of the procedures he seemed to prefer to perform that I was suddenly struck by an overwhelming question that has not yet gone from my mind.

     Why are we so outraged now?

The truth is, the procedure Gosnell preferred is not new. Third term, especially "late term," abortions are performed the same way in overwhelming numbers.

   Commonly referred to as "partial birth abortions" the procedure begins the same was as the "Gosnell abortion." Inducing labor and beginning the delivery of the child is where most of the children are lost in both procedures. As many as 75% of the children lose their lives in the process of early induced labor. Leaving roughly 25% of the children involved to have their lives terminated through an additional step.

In partial birth abortion, the child is delivered to within two inches of being free of the birth canal. In the "Gosnell" he delivered the child completely.

   But from that point on, little difference between the procedures existed.

Scissors would be used to puncture the base of the skull and to snip the spinal cord. On some occasions then the brains would be crushed and suctioned.

     In other words, while Gosnell was collecting jars of tiny feet, severed from the babies he ended the lives of, abortion practitioners from coast to coast were performing the eerily similar procedures. And 100% of them done with the backing of the National Organization for Women, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and a long list of U.S. Senators, including then Senator Barack Obama.

     It was State Senator Obama just a few years previous who had also called for votes on three occasions, in a committee that he chaired, in meetings that he had called, in which the life of a born child was in equal jeopardy to the ones Gosnell delivered.

     The issue was a debate over whether or not Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois (a hospital operated by the denomination of Obama's church) could continue a practice in which a woman's labor could be induced weeks ahead of delivery. Roughly 75% of the children would die in the process, leaving roughly 25% who survived.

Obama's response? (According to Stanek?)

      Roughly paraphrased: If a woman entered the hospital with the intent of seeking an abortion, then it was the woman's choice to allow that child to live or die. (Should it survive the induced labor.)

    To be clear President Obama is the one and only ever elected federal office holder that has voted in favor of such procedures, and he did so three times, on the record.

All of which leaves me puzzled.

     Why is Gosnell a monster, if so many people, including our own president believe it to be the fullest expression of "women's rights" to simply do what he was doing?

Any ideas?

Kevin McCulloughKevin McCullough is the nationally syndicated host of "The Kevin McCullough Show" weekdays (7-9am EST) & "Baldwin/McCullough Radio" Saturdays (9-11pm EST) on 215 stations & Sirius/XM . His new book from Thomas Nelson Publishers, "No He Can't" hits streets March 2011.


Wesley J. Smith: Philadelphia Abortion/Infanticide Abattoir Consistent With Peter Singer Values
First Things/Secondhand Smoke ^ | 1/21/11 | Wesley J. Smith




  Slate’s Will Saletan, who definitely pitches his beliefs tent in the pro choice camp, goes into details about the Philadelphia abortion/infanticide mill, which I posted about the other day.  He first notes that some pro choice absolutists believe in abortion through the ninth month–and quotes and links them.  That’s worth discussing, but rather than repeat that here, I’ll let those interested read the piece, which I link below, for themselves.

   He then recites the awful details of what happened at the “clinic,” as alleged in the grand jury report.  From Saletan’s “The Baby Butcher:”

    According to the newly released grand jury report, [Kermit]Gosnell accepted abortion patients without regard to gestational age. “Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere—because they were too pregnant,” the report explains. “More and more of his patients came from out of state and were late second-trimester patients. Many of them were well beyond 24 weeks. Gosnell was known as a doctor who would perform abortions at any stage, without regard for legal limits.”

     This meant killing viable babies. “We were able to document seven specific incidents in which Gosnell or one of his employees severed the spine of a viable baby born alive,” the grand jury concludes. One victim was killed at 26 weeks. Another was killed at 28. A third was killed at 32. Some of the dead were 12 to 18 inches long. One had been moving and breathing outside the womb for 20 minutes. The report alleges hundreds of such atrocities. One employee admitted to severing the spinal cords of 100 babies, each one beyond 24 weeks…

      You can argue that what Gosnell did wasn’t conventional abortion—he routinely delivered the babies before slitting their necks—but the 33 proposed charges involving the Abortion Control Act have nothing to do with that. Those charges pertain strictly to a time limit: performing abortions beyond 24 weeks. Should Gosnell be prosecuted for violating that limit? Is it OK to outlaw abortions at 28, 30, or 32 weeks? Or is drawing such a line an unacceptable breach of women’s autonomy?

I want to focus on different question:  How is what happened in Philadelphia morally different than what Peter Singer’s values would allow?

      Peter Singer has repeatedly stated there is no moral difference between a late term fetus and an early neo-nate–such as at a Princeton conference about abortion that I discussed here at SHS (a post in which I was mainly concerned with his contention that a human being doesn’t have “full moral status” until after age 2).  Here’s a relevant Singer quote to our discussion today from the Princeton conference:

Maybe the law has to have clear bright lines and has to take birth as the right time [to outlaw killing], although maybe it should make some exceptions in the cases of severe disability where parents think that it is better for the child and better for the family that the child does not live…The pposition that allows abortion also allows infanticide under some circumstances…If we accept abortion, we do need to rethink some of those more fundamental attitudes about human life.


    Singer takes a very casual view of these matters, including late term abortion.  In a 2001 Salon interview, he breezily accepts late term abortion if the mother has “a good reason,” which includes balancing the genders within a family!  From the interview:

   There’s a difference between early and late abortions. If you have a late abortion, where the fetus might feel pain, then I think you should have a good reason. Because then you’re inflicting pain. As you go through the third trimester, you need to have more serious reasons to end a pregnancy. For instance, I would not support ending a pregnancy only because you want a boy and you’re going to get a girl, because it would reinforce SX discrimination. But if you already have two boys and you want a girl, that could be enough reason for abortion.


 And here is what he wrote in a 2007 newspaper column:

Arguably, the fetus first becomes a being of moral significance when it develops the capacity to feel pain, some time after 20 weeks of gestation. We should be concerned about the capacity of fetuses to suffer pain in late-term abortions. On the rare occasions when such abortions are necessary, they should be performed in a way that minimises the possibility of suffering.

      Admittedly, birth is in some ways an arbitrary place to draw the line at which killing the developing human life ceases to be permissible, and instead becomes murder. A prematurely born infant may be less developed than a late-term fetus. But the criminal law needs clear dividing lines and, in normal circumstances, birth is the best we have.


   So, let us assume that the Philadelphia clinic was run with proper sanitary methods, employed painless killing techniques, and exercised clinical excellence to care for the women, I repeat: How is what “Dr” Gosnell and staff are alleged to have done–late term abortions and induced-premature-birth-and-kill infanticides–any different than what Peter Singer’s “practical ethics” would allow? (Realize that Singer’s recent acceptance of “birth”  as a line is not a moral assertion, but just a hedge to keep from having to defend the killing of healthy infants, a “legal” line that he said at Princeton should not be ccrossed in any event.)

     Recapping: Singer supports late term abortion if the the reason to kill is “good,” which, considering his example cited, is a very low standard indeed.  He strongly implies that a full term fetus has greater moral worth than a prematurely born baby.  Besides, we are repeatedly told we have no right to judge a woman’s reasons.

     So, to answer my own question, other than technical issues of clinical procedures and sanitary methods, I can’t think of a single reason Singer’s values would not permit a “professionally” operated abortion/infanticide abattoir.  And that should tell us all we need to know about Peter Singer’s values.

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