WaPo's 'On Faith' Page Features Only Pro-'End-of-Life Care' Opinion
Each Saturday, the Washington Post prints an "On Faith" page in the Metro section. Part of the feature is a "From the panel" digest with a few excerpts from opinion leaders from various faiths and theological schools of thought. "On Faith" editors select a sampling of the panelists for the print digest but direct readers to the "On Faith" Web page for more opinions.
Well today, the panel discussion topic was the role of "end-of-life counseling" in health care reform. The Post had space to print but four panelists, and surprise, surprise, they were all for "end-of-life counseling" as an integral part of federal health care reform.
One panelist, Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics, even took it upon himself to slam the "shameful" "political deception" of "Sarah Palin, the Christian Right and many Republicans who have tried to sabotage healt-care reform with the canard of 'death panels.'"
Yet not all On Faith panelists were in agreement with this sentiment, such as conservative evangelical Christian Chuck Colson, who was not excerpted in print but made an excellent conservative case in his post on the On Faith page, published yesterday at 9:36 a.m. EST:
End-of-life care should be managed and decided between the patient, the patient's family, and medical professionals. Government should be kept out of the consultation.
Millions of Americans have thought ahead about end-of-life care and have created living wills. I have myself. I have made it clear to my family and my physicians that I do not want to prolong dying unnaturally, nor do I want my death to be hastened unnaturally.
But that's my decision, not some bureaucrat or health-care czar's. If we allow the government to get involved in this kind of a decision, you can count on this: The government's decision will not be made in the best interests of the individual patient. The deciding factors will be cost and the government's view of what course of action provides "the greatest good for the greatest number"--which is just dandy if you happen belong to the greatest number. The greatest good for the greatest number is the ethical formulation called utilitarianism, which led to the horrors of eugenics.
Don't believe this will happen? Check out the Florida Department of Health's draft guidelines in case of an H1N1 emergency. The state has already published "the greatest good for the greatest number" as the standard for determining who will get care and who will not be worth the effort to save.