The thing about law school professors is that I always have an inordinate amount of respect for them, their knowledge, and what they’ve accomplished…and then I remember that Ann Althouse is also a law professor, and I wonder if they’re all secretly morons who’ve just had the wisdom to refrain from blogging.
My suspicion is that it’s just her. Althouse:
Get ready to be prompted to sign a document that will sound helpful and reasonable. The advance directive. Don’t you want the autonomy and control that comes from deciding in advance that you don’t want people to try to save your life?
The question is what do patients want and how what they want will be determined. It seems to me that the effort is to get people to commit in advance to death-hastening choices, by getting everyone to sign these documents.
In case you weren’t aware, the “death panel” canard is back. The short version: a new regulation is going to be promulgated allowing doctors to be reimbursed through Medicare for consultations on end of life care, including those that produce advance directives. It used to be that “death panels” consisted of the idea that, at some point, someone possessing government-run insurance would be denied lifesaving care because it was cost-inefficient. Apparently, the fresh new death panel hotness is that if the government even contemplates that people will one day die, it has, in fact, killed them. For pleasure.
This is a sample advance directive. Notice that at each point, you can make a decision of whether you would or would not like care in a terminal condition or persistent vegetative state. It’s possible that the advance directive mandated by HHS is a notecard reading “SIGN X TO DIE OR ELSE YOU DIE”. If that’s the case, then I will rescind this post. As John Cole points out, however, even the people saying this is terrible actually agree that it’s a good idea.
The worry here isn’t merely that it’s a good idea that will be stymied by lying morons the state of Wisconsin insists on giving gainful employment. The worry is that attacks like this will prevent people – oddly enough, people in Althouse’s age group – from getting advance directives because they believe that they’ll be signing their Kenyan Muslim death warrant.
You have a choice. You can make conscious, forward-looking decisions about your end of life care (and revise those decisions as long as you are able to), or you can refuse to let Kathleen Sebelius’ mindwaves force you to donate your organs to Michelle Obama’s school lunch program. When you’re in a vegetative state slowly slipping away at a cost of $15,000 a day, your family will be happy that you refused to be taken in by socialism…at least, right before John Boehner takes to the House floor and pushes legislation to keep you “alive” for another five years.
There is a point at which this insanity is no longer an abstract joke, but instead a meaningful campaign that will result in deep pain and suffering. It’s no longer a matter of people who know better fighting against people who should know better. It’s a matter of a moral imperative conflicting with an empty political obsession with the inherent evil of anything the President touches.