Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Death Panels Do Exist

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, better know as the Lockerbie bomber, is dead.  Good riddance some say.  Others say not so fast, we've not yet learned who his accomplices were.  For better or for worse, however, he is dead.

Had he not been released on compassionate terms he'd have been dead three years ago when he was diagnosed as having but three months to live with the latter stages of prostate cancer.  Yet he lived - and lived - and lived.

Why?  Because, as hard as it is to believe, he received better medical care in Libya, his home country, then he did in Scotland.  It had nothing to do with his being in prison or that he had been convicted of a heinous crime.  It was because the medications needed were denied not only to him, but to any man in Scotland by it's National Health Service.  That to my way of thinking is death by committee or a death panel.

According to The Wall Street Journal the Scottish Medicines Consortium, the rationing body of the NHS, decided that although certain drug combinations were known to be effective the cost effectiveness had not been demonstrated.  NHS.  National Health Service.  Health care run by and dispensed by a governmental committee.  Take note.

Upon arriving in Libya Megrahi was given the medical treatment needed to prolong his life and he survived an additional three years.  Today the needed treatments are available to only those qualifying under certain circumstances because this Consortium insists the 3000 pound per month price tag isn't worth it.  Tell that to the man suffering from what doesn't necessarily need to be a death sentence.

You may feel Megrahi got what he deserved and the extended life was certainly undeserved.  I'm wondering if too many will look at his circumstance from that point of view rather than what's really at stake - an individuals ability to obtain life saving drugs is being dictated by a committee who is looking at nothing more than the price tag.

Could it happen here?  You bet it could.


Boud said...

My inner copy editor wishes fervently you would please proofread! T

he sentence about his receiving care in Libya -- I think there's a phrase or a verb or something missing! and spelling, or rather misspellings, oh dear two of them right off the bat. Anyway, to keep picky readers such as this one, it would be really good to check! thank you.

The reason this all gives me pause is that, if I can't trust that the writer has checked spelling and grammar, how can I trust that the writer has checked the actual facts? it's about reader confidence.

Margie's Musings said...

Oh Mari....

Mari Meehan said...

Boud, I am profoundly embarrassed! I always run spell check before posting but obviously I did not on this one. Without you're calling it to my attention I probably would have never noticed. For that I thank you and promise to be more diligent . At least the link to The Wall Street Journal article is there. I hope you'll stick with me.

Mari Meehan said...

I'm on a streak it seems! You're - your. By the way, I do link to the source of my information when possible.