A number of years ago, I was on an extended mission of about 8 or 10 American Jewish leaders to Belarus and Russia.It was sponsored by the Pres. Conference,in cooperation with Lishkat Hakesher of the Prime Ministers office.
One of the other participants was a top Reform Rabbi,who informed me of his interest in medical ethics.He had authored a responsa which he told me was quite accepted in his circles.He was more than happy to share his "halachic answer" with me.
If a person has dementia and is lying in bed,it is permissible to cut out his heart or any other organ for transplantation purposes.Obviously the donor would die.
"Since the purpose of life us to perform mitzvoth" he said, then the donor"is in effect dead, for he cannot perform mitzvoth."
I bit my tongue and diplomatically said "how interesting.I would like to show the responsa to my Rabbi who is a Professor of Medical Ethics,Rabbi Dr Moses Tendler"
"Oh Rabbi Tendler has seen it already,and said I was a MURDERER".
THIS BILL IN EFFECT WILL ALLOW SENIORS TO DIE BECAUSE OF MEDICAL RATIONING-NO DIFFERENT THAN CUTTING OUT THEIR HEART WHILE THEY LAY IN BED.
Until now my objections to the Obama bill were primarily on cost and effect on the increased deficit.Suddenly the bill is coming to light,and it is a hideous bill, that in effect will limit health care for seniors.It will lead to pain and suffering as a senior is denied the right to have a hip replacement or an angioplasty because a beaurocrat in Washington so declares.
As a practicing surgeon for over 30 years and now as a consumer of medical care,there is no question that we have the best health care system in the world.No American runs to England or Canada for care.
Of course we have our problems,but why throw out the baby with the water? Why not concentrate on correcting the problems,and not LIE to the public about levels of care,cost,choice of doctors,and rationing of care.
The Committee that the President is setting up to moderate fees etc. is part of the problem.It's Chairman has written extensively on rationining senior medical care.How would you feel if your mother in a nursing home doing reasonably well,age 90, develops pneumonia,and is denied a chest x-ray or antibiotics, My mother now 98, a few years ago had a melonoma removed from her arm as an out-patient.How would I have felt if Washington said..No, No -she's too old.?
If the President would have appointed the heads of the major medical societies,(American College of Physicians,Am. College Surgeons, OB-gyn etc) I would have a minimal level of confidence.What we have now is a trick to take these matters out of the hands of Congress.
The probems of our system include the uninsured.Take away illegal immigrants you have a huge number of those eligible for MC,MA,and coverage at work.They should be forced to join.Then you have the young people.They should be forced to join, but at approporiate rates-say 20% of seniors.This is no different than mandatory auto insurance,or seat belts.
Without malpractice reform,you cannot lower costs.The trial lawyers have the Dems by the gonads and excessive and redundant testing are part of self-protection.Each year premiums rise, and physicians practice with one eye on each patient as a potential litigant.
It was insulting to physicians that the Pres. accused them of doing tonsillectomies for renumeration only.Shame on him, and on the Medical Societies for not responding.
The bill would hinder your access to specialists.We all know that a Cardioligist is not only more capable to treat cardiac disease than a GP-Internist, but the mortality figures confirm that.
The President spoke about Mayo and Cleveland Clinics as prime examples of modern care.I spent a week rotating through the Colo-rectal service at the Cleveland Clinic.Their excellence is based upon size,unlimited funding for new equiptment,and SPECIALISTS in every area and sub-area of the body.These great clinics such as these two, cannot be duplicated in every community.They train great specialists,but now Washington will want to ration the care they can provide when they finish their training.
Despite what the public is being told, people WHO HAVE READ THE BILL
(UNLIKE THE PRES.) NOTE THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS WILL HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR PLANS !
There is no way in the world that 1-3 % of rich Americans can finance this bill.It will affect all of the middle class-HIGHER RATES-WORSE AND RATIONED CARE-GOVERNMENT CONTROL
We need some form of catastrophic insurance, so people are not bankrupt from illness.
We need portability of insurance when people move across State lines,or change jobs.
We need some hi- risk program for people with pre-existing conditions
We need a full court fight against corruption,waste and government interference.
SURE WE HAVE PROBLEMS,HOWEVER WE HAVE A GREAT MEDICAL SYSTEM- LET US NOT DESTROY IT