Friday, August 21, 2009

Krauthammer 8/21/09

The Truth About Death Counseling

My take on Charles Krauthammer's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: It lies somewhere between the extreme statements of Sarah Palin and Barack Obama. Not "Death Panels" but not "non-existent", either.

It's surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health-care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it's intended to gently point the patient in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sickroom where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release.

My Views: I find myself quoting CK so much because he gets so much right. I've watched MSNBC where all the concerns about death counseling are dismissed as so much lies, so it is nice to read a reasoned analysis of what the issue is really about.

Charles Krauthammer is a more establishment columnist. He came to punditry by way of psychiatry (at Massachusetts General Hospital) via the New Republic Magazine. He appears on TV where you never see his wheelchair. Here's his Wiki bio.

He wrote a book which is pictured at the right. I am drawn by the substance and the thinking than any particular writing flair.