Thursday, May 19, 2005

I Warn You Not To Grow Old ...

The Left has always understood the importance of culture and language. That's how the right to kill became the 'right to choose'. That's why new words like 'homophobia' and 'Islamophobia' were invented and promoted, and new concepts like 'hate crime' created.

In the Luke Winston Jones case we saw the genesis of a new concept - 'aggressive treatment' - i.e. treatment that hurts but saves your life. But aggression's bad, isn't it ?

Now we've got another new concept - ANH, which sounds like some expensive new drug. It means 'artificial nutrition and hydration' - otherwise known as feeding through a tube, or hydrating through a drip in the arm. The cheerful Mengeles at the General Medical Council, supported by the Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, are arguing in the Court of Appeal that feeding someone is 'medical treatment', and that if patients have the right to that, then they'll have the right to specify other medical treatments.

The Times reports :

Philip Sales, representing Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, told the court today that if a right to ANH was established, patients would be able to demand other life-prolonging treatments.

He told the panel of three judges headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Phillips: "A general right, as identified by the judge [in the High Court], for an individual patient to require life-prolonging medical treatment has very serious implications for the functioning of the NHS.

"It may be interpreted as giving patients the right to demand certain treatments, contrary to the considered judgment of their medical team, that would lead to patients obtaining access to treatment that is not appropriate for them, and to inefficient use of resources within the NHS."

Mr Sales said that under current GMC guidelines to doctors, a competent patient was entitled to decide between the treatment options offered to him by his doctor.

"But the patient cannot require his doctor to offer him any treatment option which, in the doctor’s view, is not clinically appropriate or which cannot be offered for other reasons - having regard to the efficient allocation of resources within the NHS."

Or, to put it bluntly, doctors should have the right to starve patients to death to save money.

What did Neil Kinnock say in 1983 ?

"If this government is returned, I warn you not to grow old, I warn you not to fall ill ..."

(Stealth-edited to date the Kinnock quote and remove typo. Thanks to those who told me.)

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