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Should we establish "death panels"?

HghDnsty
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9/26/2009 10:13:55 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Curious to see where this leads.

Say you have a society that has an ever growing population but limited health care resources (facilities, physicians, nurses, medications, dollars, etc.) to support said society.

On the one hand, you have the moral dilemma of nurturing and taking care of the old and weak but on the other hand, should an elderly person receive valuable health care services while a younger person goes without. Which individual is more valuable to society?

In our current society it is easy to ignore this question but when would a decision like this become real? This could be a fun topic to watch unfold provided we have contributors to the discussion.

Cheerio,
HghDnsty

P.S. This could easily be tagged to the health forum as well but I'm approaching this from a societal perspective, i.e. when could society accept such a notion and what would be the ramifications. Please don't derail the conversation by debating which forum is most appropriate.
Volkov
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9/26/2009 10:32:18 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Should we establish "death panels"?

Absolutely not. Never. Not while I'm still around.

The establishment of such an idea puts the power of allowing the government to legally terminate the lives of those that they do not believe are "useful" enough to the country and society anymore. That is a big no-no. I can't see an argument in favour of that, either; because they take up a lot of our medical supplies? That argument only makes sense if there is no way to increase supply according to demand. Because older people have reached the end of their "usefulness"? That argument makes no sense in light of the fact that any individual has a lot of things left to contribute and if they can, they shouldn't be legally circumvented by a government that wants to terminate their lives on the basis of them just being old!

Never mind the argument on the basis of individual freedom and destiny - this idea is outright stupid and immoral.

Now, the question of whether older people want to voluntarily euthanize themselves, that is a different question. I think that option should be available to terminally ill patients or those in extreme and almost permanent pain from either a disease or old age, and whether or not health individuals can do that is extremely debatable and I'm not sure I would support it. Plus there is always the question of whether or not the government can provide that service, or whether it should be private.

But death panels? Hell no.
HghDnsty
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9/26/2009 10:48:11 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I don't disagree Volkov but I was in an MBA course years ago and the topic came up on who you would want with you in a post nuclear war scenario. In this scenario, this same question was posed and many group members stated that with a handful of medical supplies they would, in essence, create "death panels" to vote on what situations would warrant the use of these supplies.

So I've often pondered, if this situation were real (i.e. post nuclear war) what other scenarios could play out that would cause rational people (like the ones in the course) to arrive at such a conclusion? I do agree that we have the capabilities right now to meet all health care demands (and I pray that "death panels" never come to light in any lifetime) but is it too far fetched to imagine that this could be a reality someday?
Lexicaholic
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9/26/2009 10:57:50 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/26/2009 10:48:11 PM, HghDnsty wrote:
I don't disagree Volkov but I was in an MBA course years ago and the topic came up on who you would want with you in a post nuclear war scenario. In this scenario, this same question was posed and many group members stated that with a handful of medical supplies they would, in essence, create "death panels" to vote on what situations would warrant the use of these supplies.

So I've often pondered, if this situation were real (i.e. post nuclear war) what other scenarios could play out that would cause rational people (like the ones in the course) to arrive at such a conclusion? I do agree that we have the capabilities right now to meet all health care demands (and I pray that "death panels" never come to light in any lifetime) but is it too far fetched to imagine that this could be a reality someday?

I think it would be a bad idea to establish a panel, even if such a panel was necessary, that made its determinations based upon factors like age and health rather than,at least, current productivity and lifelong productivity as a balancing measure.

Personally I don't think it will ever matter. Innovation in health care technology is much more important than innovation in health care financing, and the one does not necessarily follow the other.
http://mastersofcreationrpg.com... - My new site and long-developed project. Should be fun.
Volkov
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9/26/2009 10:57:55 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
There is just so many problems with such a prospect. How can fair "judgments" be enforced? Why can't other alternatives be present, including voluntary or maybe forced exile, depending on whether or not there was a crime committed? What sort of rights would be guaranteed under a system like that? Isn't that a waste of medical supplies?

I can't agree that such a situation would exist where this would be the only plausible outcome. Consider as well that "death panel" judgments would most likely be forced, since if it was a voluntary that is a completely different matter. I mean, forcing someone to accept death? Isn't that murder?

If it was completely voluntary, or maybe even considered in a contract as an agreed-to outcome with full knowledge of the participants, that is different. But as I said, I can't think of any situation where it would be plausible.
HghDnsty
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9/26/2009 11:10:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I find it to be an interesting topic on many levels. In the interest of discussion, what about drug rationing. Think about the upcoming H1N1 and flu vaccine and that fact that it's going to be made available to certain demographics before others. Here we have a limited supply of a vaccine and it's going to go to the folks with the highest risk...as determined by a government agency. The majority of the population accepts this as fair and logical (I think because most people can deal with a common flu).

But lets say the flu mutates and becomes very deadly (as deadly as it was 100 years ago when it took out a large portion of the worlds population). We may be able to come up with a vaccine if/when this happens but if it's limited in supply, who decides which group of people should receive it. Do you really think the population would be as willing as they are not to just accept that they won't get their vaccine first? Somebody or some agency (panel) would have to decide who gets the vaccine.

How does this very real example factor into the forum discussion?
Volkov
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9/26/2009 11:23:35 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/26/2009 11:10:08 PM, HghDnsty wrote:
How does this very real example factor into the forum discussion?

Governments determine vaccination policies based on the virus itself, and what the most at-risk demographics are. For the flu, the most at-risk individuals are children, the older generations and pregnant women (I believe that is all?).

In terms of a mutated virus, it would be the same policy. This is important because not only does it protect those most vulnerable first, it also helps limit the spread of the disease, because those that can most easily contract the disease will not get sick and become carriers. That is the first rule of any disease prevention; prevent the carriers from becoming as such, because the way a virus adapts and spreads is when they can easily infect others that are weak against infection, build up their immunity to any drugs as well as adapt to whatever they need to in the human body, and then spread to other humans.

Those that can afford to wait a little while and can stave off infection effectively with simple hygienic practices like washing your hands will wait - and people understand that, and for the most part they'll agree. But it is important that there is co-operation, oversight and most of all, calm. The worst thing anyone can do during a disease outbreak is to panic, and take any vaccination for themselves when they can afford to wait for better supplies. Not only are you depriving others of the right against this infection, you're inadvertently helping the disease to spread.

This is why I despise when rich individuals buy off personal vaccine supplies for themselves; it is a big f*ck you to the rest of the population. I'm not saying they don't have a right to, especially when there is enough supply available, but it is extremely selfish and arrogant.

But, yeah. Medical rationing, demographically targeted inoculations, and various other disease prevention campaigns are designed these ways for very specific reasons.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/26/2009 11:23:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
No need from the perspective of my ideology. The ones not useful enough to earn out their medicines just run out of medicine when they run out of money, no panel need ever know :P.

Even if someone decides to subsidize them, no need to prevent some idgit from bankrupting themselves.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/26/2009 11:27:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
This is why I despise when rich individuals buy off personal vaccine supplies for themselves; it is a big f*ck you to the rest of the population.

Them doing this increases the odds that sufficient vaccines will be created. It's a big "help you" to the rest of the population in approximately one vaccine creation cycle :).

And the fact that they are expected to do so makes more vaccine available in the first place.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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9/26/2009 11:38:03 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/26/2009 11:27:38 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Them doing this increases the odds that sufficient vaccines will be created. It's a big "help you" to the rest of the population in approximately one vaccine creation cycle :).

Lol, BS.

Unless they're the ones that will produce the vaccine themselves, that is utter BS, and you're quite aware of it. Stockpiling private vaccine supplies when it is limited - notice I said before that when supplies are available, it is within their rights to buy their vaccines - will not help ramp up the production of vaccine for everyone else, any more than throwing money at a cow will get it to cut itself up and serve itself to you.

It guarantees them a private supply from the limited supplies at hand, and takes away vaccines from other individuals. Not the future supply of fully available vaccines, the limited supply at hand, of which there is a limited amount of.

It is human nature to be selfish, and I understand that, but don't give me crap about how them getting private vaccine supplies will help everyone else.

And the fact that they are expected to do so makes more vaccine available in the first place.

Somehow, I doubt that the lack of private buyers will dry up the market for vaccine supplies.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/26/2009 11:41:34 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/26/2009 11:38:03 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/26/2009 11:27:38 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Them doing this increases the odds that sufficient vaccines will be created. It's a big "help you" to the rest of the population in approximately one vaccine creation cycle :).

Lol, BS.

Unless they're the ones that will produce the vaccine themselves, that is utter BS, and you're quite aware of it. Stockpiling private vaccine supplies when it is limited - notice I said before that when supplies are available, it is within their rights to buy their vaccines - will not help ramp up the production of vaccine for everyone else
What limits supplies of vaccine? The returns on producing them, presumably. How hard can it be to grow germs?

And the fact that they are expected to do so makes more vaccine available in the first place.

Somehow, I doubt that the lack of private buyers will dry up the market for vaccine supplies.
If the supplies are as limited as you describe, the market is pretty dry and needs all the buyers it can get.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/26/2009 11:41:53 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
should read *grow more germs*
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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9/26/2009 11:48:47 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/26/2009 11:41:34 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
What limits supplies of vaccine? The returns on producing them, presumably. How hard can it be to grow germs?

Very. Vaccines take time to be created and tested to make sure they're not going to kill off half of those inoculated. What the mitigating factor is how much time you have between when you have the ability to research and create a vaccine, and when the outbreak occurs. Why flu vaccines are so effective is in part due to the fact that the flu season is very regular and time-limited, so inbetween vaccines can be created with enough time, and supplies will also be built up in enough time.

With swine flu, you have an issue because the outbreak occurred much closer to the regular flu season, and vaccines had to get up and going ASAP. I think they have good supplies now, but they have fallen behind what the recommended amount is, since there is also things that are added to vaccines that protect against other various evil germs.

If the supplies are as limited as you describe, the market is pretty dry and needs all the buyers it can get.

As I said; these supplies are limited for a reason, and those reasons are because it takes time and precious effort to create them. Throwing money it won't help, especially since the government and corporations are throwing a lot more money at it than you ever could.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/27/2009 12:14:19 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/26/2009 11:48:47 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/26/2009 11:41:34 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
What limits supplies of vaccine? The returns on producing them, presumably. How hard can it be to grow germs?

Very. Vaccines take time to be created and tested to make sure they're not going to kill off half of those inoculated.
That's why I corrected it with "more."Obviously, the initial costs are high. That's the general case with new medicines. But they diminish rapidly if they can get going, no?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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9/27/2009 12:49:19 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 12:14:19 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
That's why I corrected it with "more."Obviously, the initial costs are high. That's the general case with new medicines. But they diminish rapidly if they can get going, no?

The costs should diminish once supplies are readily available and in surplus, yes. That is, of course, granted that it is an effective vaccine, and that the virus doesn't adapt right away.

One of the things that annoys vaccine manufacturers about the flu is that it mutates into a new strand each and every single flu season, so they have to create a new vaccine and redistribute it. Now, could you imagine something like that with an even deadlier disease where there is no break inbetween?
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/27/2009 12:54:28 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
So the solution is to make the people saving you from this make less money

(and don't tell me "the government throws plenty" at it, either the role of these rich people is significant or it's not, you can't have your cake and eat it too.)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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9/27/2009 7:00:18 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 12:54:28 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
So the solution is to make the people saving you from this make less money

Why would it be that? Besides, any money is good money; as long as their basic research and labour costs are reached, most people are satisfied. Some will work for extra, and some won't. It really depends.

(and don't tell me "the government throws plenty" at it, either the role of these rich people is significant or it's not, you can't have your cake and eat it too.)

I don't believe that the private buyer is necessarily "significant." The vaccine producers will always have a much larger market, and more willing buyer, in the government.

While private buyers can maybe help drive down costs slightly, depending upon how many actually choose to buy a private supply and at what price, their impact isn't that great on a surplus supply. Governments are the largest buyers with the largest market, unless somehow a private buyer decided to stockpile 35 million vaccines.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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9/27/2009 8:54:03 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/26/2009 10:13:55 PM, HghDnsty wrote:
Curious to see where this leads.

Say you have a society that has an ever growing population but limited health care resources (facilities, physicians, nurses, medications, dollars, etc.) to support said society.

On the one hand, you have the moral dilemma of nurturing and taking care of the old and weak but on the other hand, should an elderly person receive valuable health care services while a younger person goes without. Which individual is more valuable to society?

In our current society it is easy to ignore this question but when would a decision like this become real? This could be a fun topic to watch unfold provided we have contributors to the discussion.

Cheerio,
HghDnsty

The old and weak should have someone footing the bill. The Hippocratic oath covers health care services, but not health care products. Technology and pharmaceuticals do not belong to health care practitioners, they usually belong to an employer who hires the health care practitioners.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/27/2009 8:57:48 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 7:00:18 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/27/2009 12:54:28 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
So the solution is to make the people saving you from this make less money

Why would it be that?
It's sarcasm.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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9/27/2009 8:59:24 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 8:57:48 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 9/27/2009 7:00:18 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/27/2009 12:54:28 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
So the solution is to make the people saving you from this make less money

Why would it be that?
It's sarcasm.

Oh. Oops.
I-am-a-panda
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9/27/2009 9:01:14 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
'Death panels' have always existed. The military chooses who is and isn't fit to die for their country. Corporations choose to employ people and subsequently may choose who will and won't starve to death. The ones employed in UHC would be a bit more direct though.
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Kleptin
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9/27/2009 9:03:20 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
I have to agree with RR here. When you have a system that is powered by capitalism, you listen to the guy with "Atlas Shrugged" as his favorite book XD

Health Care is no longer about human rights or caring for those in need. Health Care is a business, and a very big business.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. are pawns of the corporate big-wigs. And for the most part, they are powerless to call the shots.

I know that at work, I have a lot of difficulty with cold and heartless insurance companies who go by black and white statistics when there are patients not 3 feet away from me.

That's just the way it is.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Volkov
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9/27/2009 9:04:32 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 9:01:14 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
'Death panels' have always existed. The military chooses who is and isn't fit to die for their country. Corporations choose to employ people and subsequently may choose who will and won't starve to death. The ones employed in UHC would be a bit more direct though.

We're not talking about abstract, indirect "death panels." The military chooses who is fit for service based on their need for proper and effective soldiers that won't die right away and actually contribute something; those that cannot, should not and will not be in the military. Same with a company; they have to choose individuals that will actually be effective workers that know what they're doing. They can't pick the least educated of the lot for a job they're not qualified for on the basis that "they might starve."
I-am-a-panda
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9/27/2009 9:07:36 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 9:04:32 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/27/2009 9:01:14 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
'Death panels' have always existed. The military chooses who is and isn't fit to die for their country. Corporations choose to employ people and subsequently may choose who will and won't starve to death. The ones employed in UHC would be a bit more direct though.

We're not talking about abstract, indirect "death panels." The military chooses who is fit for service based on their need for proper and effective soldiers that won't die right away and actually contribute something; those that cannot, should not and will not be in the military. Same with a company; they have to choose individuals that will actually be effective workers that know what they're doing. They can't pick the least educated of the lot for a job they're not qualified for on the basis that "they might starve."

Right, but it's still the same theory in practice. Corporations may be ignorant of what they're really doing, but the military know full well, especially in war time, that they're essentially choosing who to go out there and be ready to die. Much more so in conscription.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Volkov
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9/27/2009 9:13:02 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 9:07:36 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
Right, but it's still the same theory in practice. Corporations may be ignorant of what they're really doing, but the military know full well, especially in war time, that they're essentially choosing who to go out there and be ready to die. Much more so in conscription.

The military doesn't choose individuals on the basis that they're going to die; they choose individuals on the basis that they'll be effective and not die. Death panels are the opposite; they choose who are the best candidates for forced termination because they're not "useful," not individuals that are "useful."

And you can't blame a corporation for not helping those that will drag them down with them, indirectly or directly. It is contradictory to hire someone to do a job, yet know full well they can't do that job.
I-am-a-panda
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9/27/2009 9:15:05 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 9:13:02 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/27/2009 9:07:36 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
Right, but it's still the same theory in practice. Corporations may be ignorant of what they're really doing, but the military know full well, especially in war time, that they're essentially choosing who to go out there and be ready to die. Much more so in conscription.

The military doesn't choose individuals on the basis that they're going to die; they choose individuals on the basis that they'll be effective and not die. Death panels are the opposite; they choose who are the best candidates for forced termination because they're not "useful," not individuals that are "useful."

See: World War 1


And you can't blame a corporation for not helping those that will drag them down with them, indirectly or directly. It is contradictory to hire someone to do a job, yet know full well they can't do that job.

I can't blame them, but I can still call it a 'death panel'.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/27/2009 9:15:44 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
The military doesn't do your ninny panel crap, you listen to the general dammit.

And corporations always leave options open somewhere else, or accept the answer of more money :)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/27/2009 9:16:38 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
The military doesn't choose individuals on the basis that they're going to die; they choose individuals on the basis that they'll be effective and not die.

They choose ENEMIES on the basis that the enemies will die.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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9/27/2009 9:18:01 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 9:15:05 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
See: World War 1

Are you saying the soldiers that died for your freedom in World War 1 aren't useful? Are you saying the freedom you now enjoy wasn't worth the effective effort of soldiers to stop the Germans from overrunning Europe? For shame!

I can't blame them, but I can still call it a 'death panel'.

Even though it isn't.
Volkov
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9/27/2009 9:19:17 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/27/2009 9:16:38 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
They choose ENEMIES on the basis that the enemies will die.

I'm not quite sure that counts as a "death panel." But good point.