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June 04, 2013

"Someone Lives and Someone Dies:" HHS Secretary Sebelius Demonstrates Why Who Lives and Who Dies Should Not be Part of the Political Process

Krakatoa put this in the sidebar.

Drudge may or may not have overplayed this -- but this sure seems like a preview into the future, where all decisions about life and death are made by bureaucrats, and, hence, are naturally swayable by political processes.

“Please, suspend the rules until we look at this policy,” [Rep. Lou] Barletta, a Pennsylvania Republican, asked Sebelius during a House hearing Tuesday on behalf of Sarah Murnaghan, a 10-year-old girl who needs a lung transplant. She can’t qualify for an adult lung transplant until the age of 12, according to federal regulations, but Sebelius has the authority to waive that rule on her behalf. The pediatric lungs for which she currently qualifies aren’t available.

“I would suggest, sir, that, again, this is an incredibly agonizing situation where someone lives and someone dies,” Sebelius replied. “The medical evidence and the transplant doctors who are making the rule — and have had the rule in place since 2005 making a delineation between pediatric and adult lungs, because lungs are different that other organs — that it’s based on the survivability [chances].”

Now, in some cases, these decisions are already being made by federal bureaucrats -- as in the current case. Sebelius' involvement doesn't seem to grow out of Obamacare, but out of pre-existing laws regulating organ donations. (Why exactly these are a federal concern, I don't quite know.)

But this little scene -- lobbying for the right to medical treatment -- will play out so many more thousands of times in the future thanks to ObamaCare.

Ultimately, they'll start deciding who should live and who should die not merely on medical grounds, but on political ones -- not just expected life chances, but whether you're living a life they really want to save.

And for anyone who doesn't think that will happen, I have three words for you: I.R.S.


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posted by Ace at 04:21 PM

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