Britain is revisiting the Laws of Voluntary Euthanasia to End a Patient’s Suffering

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 9th, 2012

Week in Review

Some people with a terminal illness suffer horribly.  And there are some who would like to help these people not suffer so much.  Through voluntary euthanasia.  As long as it’s not a doctor killing these patients (see Terminal illness sufferers ‘should be allowed help to die’ says new minister by John-Paul Ford Rojas posted 9/8/2012 on The Telegraph).

Anna Soubry said current laws on voluntary euthanasia were dishonest and needed to “evolve” to allow people to die at home.

But Ms Soubry, in her first interview as Under-Secretary of State for Health, maintained her opposition to allowing doctors to end patients’ lives…

[Labour minister Lord Falconer of Thoroton] said the commission came to the same conclusion “that you should assist people to kill themselves subject to stringent safeguards but not allow doctors to kill their patients”.

Odd, really.  Doctors can’t kill people who are suffering and who have already lived their lives.  But doctors can kill an unborn child with an entire life ahead of that child.  And it is a life in the womb because people have sued those responsible for harming their unborn child.  Making euthanasia and abortion complicated issues indeed.

Further complicating these issues is national health care.  Specifically, the rising costs of national health care.  For if they start a policy of euthanasia how long will it be before they use it to address those rising costs?  For some already justify abortion as the less expensive option of bringing an unwanted, state-supported child into the world.

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Canadian Doctors state that Human Life Begins at Birth and the Thing in the Womb before that is not Human

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

The Canadians aren’t redefining when life begins.  They’re just putting medical science behind the 400 year-old English common law that defines it.  Yes, the Canadian doctors are inserting themselves into one of the most contentious debates ever to consume mankind since the Protestant Reformation (see Opinion: doctors dodge hot-button life debate by Paul Schratz posted 8/20/2012 on The Vancouver Sun).

Canada’s doctors voted last week to take a political rather than medical position that human life begins at birth, in the process closing their eyes to science and the evidence of their own senses.

In a spectacular act of bio-redefinition that has many observers scratching their heads, the Canadian Medical Association voted to support the maintaining of a section of the Criminal Code of Canada that declares a child becomes a human being at the moment of birth…

So they’ve chosen the intellectually indefensible position that an unborn child, moments away from birth, is not human, which essentially means scores of medical textbooks, not to mention the entire field of fetal medicine, now need to be retired. After all, if doctors who are removing tumours or repairing spinal cords on unborn babies aren’t working on humans, one wonders why they would spend years training to be doctors rather than veterinarians.

If a life is only human at birth it does raise some questions.  A mother could smoke and drink during pregnancy as she wouldn’t be harming a human life.  Bad doctoring that results in birth defects would not cause harm to a human.  A new drug that has a dangerous side effect on an unborn life would not harm a human life.  Physical abuse that results in a miscarriage would not harm a human life (in the womb).  Such an act would only rise to the level of battery against the mother.  Not homicide of the unborn non-human life.  Sad as these events may be we would not be able to redress them through the courts.  As the courts are for people.  Humans.  Not things that aren’t human.  There are penalties for people found guilty of cruelty to animals.  But usually that’s because people consciously do these things.  They’re not accidents.  Or things that result un-expectantly from other actions.

But the current debate is not about changing the definition of when life begins.  It’s about leaving the definition as it is now.  Life begins at birth.  So it is confusing because we do act as if the preborn life within the womb is human.  So why do these doctors come out giving medical sanction to a 400 year-old English common law definition of life?  From an era some will say we weren’t all that smart?  Especially those who like to point to all that warfare between Protestants and Catholics around that time.  So it would appear that the Canadians are opening the door for a lot more prenatal harm in the womb.  Why?  Is it because they don’t respect human life?  That depends where you are in the span of human life.

It’s par for the CMA, however, which has been developing a habit recently of wading into political issues. At their annual meeting in Yellowknife, the MDs also passed a motion calling for a public debate that would lead to a free vote in the House of Commons on the issue of end-of-life care.

That echoes an editorial in their CMA Journal last month which called for a national debate on death and dying. The country’s leading medical journal said it’s time for Canadians to debate whether we are prepared to embrace “therapeutic homicide…”

So why is it that the same doctors who, when it comes to euthanasia, are in favour of debate and open to rethinking when life ends, are at the same time opposed to discussion that might lead to a rethinking of when life begins?

It’s especially curious since the issue of end-of-life care in Canada has been studied and voted on countless times — as recently as last November’s parliamentary committee on compassionate and palliative care, which called for improvements to palliative care and a commitment to a national suicide prevention strategy. The CMA welcomed that report, saying “End-of-life care is an area that requires urgent attention.”

Indeed, through the years and all the many debates, reports and votes on euthanasia and palliative care, there has been one consistent conclusion: Parliamentarians and Canadians want more and better end-of-life care, not euthanasia.

So if you’re sick and dying they do respect human life.  It’s just in the womb where they can take it or leave it.  So the in-the-womb life belief is more of a political belief than a medical belief.  So what are the politics behind it?  Ontario Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312.  Which seeks to redefine when life begins.  In the womb.  Or out of the womb.  The fear of Motion 312 is, of course, what will happen to abortion?  As the law is right now you can do anything you want to the life in the womb.  Because it’s not human.  Which includes having an abortion.  However, if they redefine the beginning of human life as occurring at a time earlier than when exiting the womb it could make abortion murder.  Like an assault and battery that results in a miscarriage.  Which could really complicate the abortion debate.

So those who are old, sick and in pain have no choice in ending their life.  They must live and suffer even if they want to die.  As doctors will protect these lives to the bitter end.  But a baby in the womb?  You’re on your own, kid.  The best we can offer you is to wish you good luck.  And this coming from the doctors we entrust our lives to.  It makes you wonder what’s next.  Limited use of euthanasia?  As determined by the state for political reasons.  Such as the growing cost of health care can’t justify treating people that can’t fully recover and live a normal life again?  Without continuing expensive medical treatments?  Anything is possible when you play fast and loose with defining the beginning and ending points of human life.

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FT113: “In the liberal war on women their number one enemy are stay-at-home mothers not on welfare.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 13th, 2012

Fundamental Truth

Plato’s Perfect State included Selective Breeding, State Rationed Health Care and Euthanasia

Liberals are fans of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato.  And his utopian idea of the perfect state.  Which he passed down to us in his Republic.  His book of fictional conversations where Socrates engaged in dialogs to develop and advance his philosophy.  His utopia?  A totalitarian state.  Where everyone sacrifices for the good of the state.  Sound familiar?  Think of Marxism, socialism, communism, fascism, National Socialism, Islamism, etc.  Where the state provides the basic necessities of life.  And frowns on luxuries, liberty and free speech. 

In Plato’s world everyone is equal.  Only some people are more equal than others.  The Guardians of the state are the wisest and brightest and make all the decisions of this perfect state.  These are the most equal.  Then came the state bureaucracy.  Those who manage things for the Guardians.  Then came the reeks and wrecks of society.  The expendables.  The undesirables.  Who are little more than slaves.  Or are slaves.  The workers who get their hands dirty while providing for the state.  The Guardians maintain these divisions through selective breeding and propaganda.  Making the people believe the separation of these classes is just and right.  And nothing to question.  Even to accept the selective breeding to produce a super race.  Or to learn not to question it.  The perfect state includes a national health care system.  To manage the super race.  That determines who to treat based on their usefulness to the state.  And who to euthanize because they have no state value.

Plato’s perfect state destroyed the family.  People lived communally.  The state took away babies from mothers and raised them ‘correctly’ to grow up to best serve the state.  Determining their level of ‘equalness’ and placing them accordingly.  Educating the children in the public education system.  Where the most equal make it to the Academy.  The state-run college.  Where the wisest philosophers of the state indoctrinated the new Guardians.  And educated the state bureaucrats.  To ensure that only the best stock entered their schools they managed the mating between men and women and forbade cross-class mating.  To maintain the purity of the classes.  Especially the higher classes.  A society where all children grew up loyal to the state.  Not to their parents.  To promote the superiority of the state.  And the subjugation of the people. 

Abortion and Birth Control helps the State Limit the Birth of People they Deem less Desirable

This is the liberal utopian view they see for America.  Where a kind and just government grows to protect the people.  Where the smartest people run things.  Who know what’s best for the people.  And decide for the people.  For the people aren’t wise enough to know what’s best for them.  Just like in Plato’s perfect state.  The wisest and brightest advance through the most prestigious of America’s universities.  And enter leading positions in the government.  After learning what the ideal state should be.  Progressive.  And subjugated to the state.  Lower universities train future state bureaucrats to embrace the ideal state.  Emphasizing fairness and justice.  And shared sacrifice.  Pointing out the cruel unfairness of capitalism.  And the kind, loving care of the government.  They will manage the state for the enlightened leaders.  While the lower classes are kept uneducated.  And dependent on the government.  Where they provide a critical service for the state.  By making the government necessary for most to survive.  To get around the repugnant restraints of democracy.  By having people continuously vote for the state to subjugate them.  Thus disciplining the masses.  And keeping them in their place.  At the lower end of the social strata.  And away from the upper classes.

The Holy Grail of large, interventionist government has always been national health care.  For it extends the state’s control to almost every facet of the people’s lives.  For they can tie anything into being health related.  And thus subject to the state’s regulation.  Also, this power over life and death serves another purpose.  Spreading limited resources over a larger group of people requires rationing of health care treatment.  As determined by the wisest and the brightest.  Who will direct their bureaucrats in the rationing of health care treatment.  Determining who’s too sick for treatment so they can use that treatment, instead, on someone more beneficial to the state.  A passive euthanasia policy.  Until the people will not object to a proper active euthanasia policy.

At the other end of the spectrum is abortion and birth control.  Which they make plentiful and easy to get.  Especially for the lower classes.  To limit the birth of people the state deems less desirable.  Those who give in to their animal passions instead of sacrificing for the state.  A common problem with the people in the lower classes.  Who lack a proper college education indoctrinating them into the proper behavior that best serves the state.  These lower class people are useful to the state by keeping the government necessary.  But at the same time they upper classes of government don’t want to be overrun with these people they see as inferiors.  Birth control and abortion helps the state to keep the births of this class at more acceptable levels.

Liberals hate Stay-at-Home Mothers because they Sacrifice for their Family and not the State

But this causes a bit of a problem.  By limiting the birth of the state-deemed undesirables they are also limiting the number of voters who will ask the state to subjugate them.  Which is a problem because the upper classes aren’t having a lot of kids themselves.  Women are too busy with their careers for the inconvenience of family.  Unless they’re rich and can afford to nanny it out.  As the properly educated higher classes enjoy sex without the consequence of children they cull the stock of the higher classes.  Leaving only one group embracing the family and having children.  Those who reject the state’s view of the perfect society.  Enjoy sex.  And like making babies.  Who they raise.  Some even becoming stay-at-home mothers.  Devoting everything to their families.  While their husbands provide their financial needs they take on the full-time job of parenting and managing the household.  On call 24/7.  Even taking their work with them on vacation.  And all without any help from the government.  Fully independent.  Responsible.  And free.  Which is a great threat to the ideal state as envisioned by Plato.  And every totalitarian state since.  These people who put family first instead of the state.  These people who don’t even need the state.

The state wants women to work.  If they have children, they want these women to return to work as quickly as possible.  To break up the family.  To separate their children from their parents as soon as possible.  Putting their children into state-sponsored childcare.  To begin the indoctrination process.  To make them loyal to the state and not their parents.  Which is why they love the two-parent income required to raise children today.  It helps to separate children from their parents.  Putting kids into after-school programs to further their indoctrination.  Better yet are the single mothers.  Who become fully dependent on the state.  And teach their children to love the state.  Because only the state provides.  Unlike the father that abandoned them.  These single mothers are the most likely to vote to further their state of subjugation.  To become fully dependent on the state.  And forever obedient.

This is why liberals today have a war on women.  In particular, the stay-at-home mother.  Who they hate.  And attack at will.  For choosing to be a stay-at-home mother.  For focusing too much time on their children.  For being too involved in their children’s education.  And for teaching their children to be independent and responsible.  Undoing years of the state’s indoctrination in the public school system.  These women are enemies of the perfect state.  Because they sacrifice for their families.  Not the state.  Worse of all, these most disobedient of women are having too many babies.  The real reason why the state hates them so.  Because if they can’t get rid of that problem they call democracy they will need to keep winning elections.  Which will be harder to do when each subsequent generation of like-minded voters is smaller than the last.  So their super race will disappear over time.  As will the perfect state.   For selective breeding will only work when people breed.  But not just any people.  It has to be the right people.  Not these stay-at-home mothers.  Who don’t sacrifice correctly.  And don’t subjugate themselves to the state.  As liberals believe they should.  Because liberals love Plato.

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Estate Taxes and Social Security – are the Dead People or Cash Piñatas?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 18th, 2010

The Lord Taketh Away.  And the Lord Giveth.

I sat in some construction meetings for a small church building a new nave.  I learned a few things about churches.  And construction.  First of all, church projects have a lot of alternates in their bid proposals.  Because they always want more than their budgets can pay for.  But they’re ever hopeful.  When they pass that basket around.  To add some of those alternates.  Even ask for donations during construction.  From the contractors building their new nave.  But the biggest thing I learned was the value of dead people.

This church had grandiose plans.  A pipe organ.  A light dimming system.  A sound system.  And some really nice (and expensive) chandeliers (they install some plain-Jane lights until they could afford the more spectacular lighting).  But, alas, they did not raise enough money to include all of these things.  And to make matters worse, they ran into some unexpected costs.  They had to make cuts.  Even some of the things that they had already approved.  The owner’s representative was not a happy camper.  He had to sit in a lot of meetings to reach a consensus on what to cut from the project.  But there was never any consensus.  Then, one day, he came to the construction meeting with a big smile on his face.

Someone had died.  And he was a parishioner.  A well-to-do parishioner.  The owner’s rep got a heads up on what the dead guy had bequeathed to the church.  And it was enough to not only keep the approved alternates.  But big enough to add a few other things.  And he smiled.

Death and Taxes – A Liberal’s Favorite Things

In all fairness to the church, they did a lot of charitable work in their community.  But there are other people who smile when old people die.  And they’re not helping the community as much as stuffing their pockets and the pockets of their friends.

Social Security is a great cash piñata for the government.  That’s why they are dead set against privatizing Social Security.  You see, it’s a numbers game.  Or racket.  Working people pay into a ‘retirement fund’ while they work.  Then when they retire, they get ‘benefit payments’.  And if you die the day after retiring, the government gets a big smile on their face.  Why?  Because they get to keep your ‘retirement fund’.  And that just wouldn’t happen if you had your retirement in a 401(k).

Private retirement investments (IRA, 401(k), insurance policy, etc.) are private property.  If you die before using those benefits, they go to your spouse, kids or other next of kin.  It’s your money.  And it stays in your family.  Well, some of it, at least.

When people use other investments other than the federal government, the government has other ways of getting your money when you die.  It’s called the estate tax.  The government sees the death tax as a statement of their generosity.  Instead of a 100% tax rate upon your death like with Social Security, it’s closer to 50% (depending on the current tax code).  Like George Harrison sang in Taxman, the government is basically telling us that we should just be thankful they’re not taking it all.

The Final Solution for Efficiency’s Sake

Liberal Democrats are obsessed with death.  To them it’s convenience and efficiency.  They like euthanasia.  They talk a lot about dignity at the end of life, but it’s also a great money saver.  As some sick and dying people can take a long time to die.  And Medicare and Medicaid pay for a lot them while they’re taking their time to die.  But euthanasia can change that.  And has.  In some of the more ‘bluer’ (i.e., liberal) states.

They like abortion, too.  They talk about it empowering women.  But is also a great money saver.  When unmarried teens get pregnant and they carry their baby to term, that baby will consume a lot of government benefits.  Of course, this is a double-edge sword.  The use of abortion (and birth control) has reduced the birthrate.  At a time the size of government has been expanding.  Which means there will be fewer taxpayers down the road to pay for that expanding government.

Of course, Obamacare brings it all home for the liberal Democrat.  The government will make healthcare a model of efficiency.  By deciding who should get treatment.  And who should get a pill to help them manage their pain.  Until they die.

Scary, isn’t it?  They deny it.  And they don’t use the word ‘death panels’ in the Obamacare legislation, but there are boards.  Who make healthcare decisions.  Based on cost.  And the only way to make healthcare more efficient is to spend less.  And you spend less when more sick and old people die.  And when it comes down to it, what is an old person?  Someone who is no longer a useful taxpayer.  But, instead, is a tax consumer.

And keeping them alive is just bad business when you’re in the business of life and death.

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LESSONS LEARNED #40: “Big Government is more efficient when old people die sooner.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 18th, 2010

Big Government is a Ponzi Scheme

When it comes to government funding, birthrates and death rates are key.  Think of government as a great Ponzi scheme.  Ponzi schemes work when more people pay into the scam than collect from the scam.  Like in a pyramid scheme.  Those collecting benefits are the few at the top.  Those paying in are the many at the base.

An increasing birthrate means more taxpayers for each successive generation.  This keeps the base of the pyramid growing.  A steady or increasing death rate keeps the top of the pyramid smaller than the base.  A declining death rate, on the other hand, will flip the pyramid upside down.  Because the population at the top will grow larger than the population at the bottom.

Big Government tries to keep as many people as possible dependent on government.  Lots of different programs attach lots of different people to the welfare state.  But when it comes to big numbers, old people can’t be beat.  The lion’s share of government assistance goes to them via Social Security and Medicare.  And they are the most politically active.  That means they vote.  And when they vote, they vote to keep their benefits.

Of course, this is a dual-edged sword.  Yes, old people can provide a loyal voting base to sustain Big Government.  But on the other hand, the cost of their benefits is growing so large that it is undermining the very foundations of Big Government.  How?  By the double whammy of a falling birthrate and a declining death rate.  For various reasons, fewer people are being born.  And old people are living longer.  This has flipped the pyramid in the great Ponzi scheme upside down.  The growth rate of those collecting benefits is greater than the growth rate of those paying into the scheme.

An Increasing Life Expectancy is Bankrupting Social Security

FDR signed Social Security into law in 1935.  The average life expectancy in 1930 was approximately 59 years.  The retirement age in the Social Security Act of 1935?  65.  That’s right, the average American would have been dead for 6 years before qualifying for Social Security retirement benefits.  That’s a 6 year cost cushion.  But not everyone died at 59, though.  So a lot of people lived to receive those benefits.  But one thing the actuaries were sure about then, this Ponzi scheme was going to be a big winner.  For Big Government.

The average life expectancy increased to approximately 70 years in 1960.  In other words, people were living approximately 11 years longer.  That 6 year cost cushion just became a 5 year cost exposure.  That’s a swing of 11 years.  The actuaries in 1930 never saw this coming.

Social Security had its first crisis in 1975.  To save the program, they increased payroll taxes and decreased benefits.  Another crisis came in 1983.  Now they started taxing some Social Security benefits.  Even taxed federal employees (who previously didn’t pay these payroll taxes).   And they would increase the retirement age for later retirees.

By 2000, the average life expectancy increased to approximately 77 years.  That’s another 7 years.  That’s a swing of 18 years from 1930.  A huge actuarial miscalculation.  The population was getting far older then the FDR administration ever guessed.  And, to make matters worse, the birthrate was declining.

A Declining Birthrate is Bankrupting Social Security

The birthrate (per thousand of population) had been declining from 1910 (30.1) to 1920 (27.1) to 1930 (21.3).  That’s about a 10% decline from 1910 to 1920.  And a 20% decline from 1920 to 1930.    Perhaps that’s the reason for the 6-year cost cushion they gave themselves.  They saw fewer babies being born.  Which meant fewer taxpayers would be paying for later retirees.

The birthrate fell to 19.4 in 1940.  Though it was falling, it wasn’t falling as much.  Only 9% from 1930 to 1940.  Then came the baby boom generation.  The birthrate in 1950 shot up to 24.1, a 24% increase from 1940.  More babies meant more taxpayers.  This birthrate held pretty steady in 1960.  No doubt the LBJ administration felt optimistic. 

LBJ exploded federal spending.  He added Medicare and Medicaid.  Made Social Security more generous.  And why not?  Things were looking up.  Birthrate-wise.

But it was short-lived.  The birthrate went from 23.7 in 1960 to 18.4 in 1970.  That’s a 22% decline.  The birthrate was 15.9 in 1980.  That was a 14% decline from 1970.  Or a 33% decline from 1960.  Birth control and abortion were taking their toll on the U.S. birthrate.  Fewer babies meant fewer future taxpayers.  And fewer taxpayers could pay for less government, not more.  The LBJ administration was wrong to feel optimistic.

The Selfish Baby Boomers Invert the Ponzi Scheme Pyramid

The baby boom generation has really thrown a wrench in the works.  The government used their spike in the birth rate as a baseline for future government spending.  But they screwed the government in the end.  Instead of being good little taxpayers by making even more little taxpayers, they stopped having babies.  They didn’t stop having sex.  They just stopped having babies.  It was the era of free love.  And ‘free love’ had no room for babies.

And it’s these baby boomers that are working themselves up to the top of the pyramid.  But being the selfish ingrates that they are, they’ve left no one to follow behind them to keep the Ponzi scheme going.  And to make matters worse, they’ll be living longer in retirement than anyone ever guessed.

It’s a perfect storm of sorts.  A declining death rate.  An even more declining birthrate.  And a huge chunk of the population about to go on the public dole.  But it gets even worse.  The boomers will be living longer in retirement because of huge outlays in Medicare spending to keep them alive.  In other words, the government is spending a fortune to make their financial problems worse.

Amnesty, Catholics and Dead Retirees May Save Social Security

They’re trying to fix things on the taxpayer side.  The Big Government legislators are desperate to give illegal aliens amnesty and citizenship.  To them it’s simple math.  More people equal more taxpayers.  And these taxpayers will be Catholic.  Catholics don’t use birth control and abortion like Americans currently do.  Their birthrate is less likely to decline.  (Approximately 1 in 5 of young children in the United States is Hispanic already.  They project that to increase to 1 in 4 within a few decades.)

On the benefit side, they’ve already raised the retirement age to 67.  And there’s talk about raising it to 69.  If more people die before they’re eligible to collect retirement, that’s a lot of benefits the government doesn’t have to pay.  They’re also talking about cutting the Medicare budget.  The less they spend, the more may die.  And dead people don’t consume Medicare benefits.

There’s no getting around the fact that old people are a huge drain on government.  Though they worked hard to get these people dependent on government, their continued living is becoming more of a burden than a benefit.  An increasing lifespan is anathema to Big Government.  Old retirees take more than they give.  Young workers, on the other hand, give more than they take.  The government needs more young workers.  And fewer old retirees.

(Social Security + Medicare) Spending = 2 X Defense Spending

To be efficient government has to minimize costs in relation to revenue (i.e., taxes).  And there’s an 800 pound gorilla in the room.  Old people.  Nothing can impact the budget more.  Even war.  Social Security and Medicare combined make up approximately 40% of the federal budget.  Defense spending is approximately 20%.  A blind man can see the gorilla.  Government needs these old people to hurry up and die.

And now add Obamacare to the equation.  Which will cover more people than Social Security.  The costs will be astronomical.  Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare will easily eclipse 60% of the total federal budget.  That kind of spending cannot be sustained.  Greece, France and Great Britain have proven this in the 21st century.

That’s some serious cost to contain.  And how do you contain that kind of cost?  You do what the Left says the private health insurers do.  Deny coverage to sick people.  And they will.  They’ll have to.  And with the power of life and death literally in their hands (i.e., death panels), they’ll be able to.  They’ll be able to maximize the number of young workers (by treating them).  Minimize the number of old retirees (by not treating them).  As well as minimize the number of undesirables who take more than they give (by not treating them).  Or even take more serious measures with those seriously ill or impaired (euthanasia).

Don’t think it can happen?  It’s happened in other Big Government states.  In fact, the Progressives even talked about the scientific benefits of eugenics and euthanasia here in the United States in the early 20th century.  To deal with undesirables.  So, yes, it could happen here.  Because it almost once did.

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