75 is the Age at Which Socialized Medicine Decides you Die

death panels

Welcome to the NHS, the UK’s inspiration for the America left’s disastrous ventures into socialized medicine.

Pensioners with cancer are being written off as too old to treat, campaigners said yesterday. They cited figures showing survival rates for British patients aged 75 and over are among the worst in Europe.

Young lung cancer sufferers are only 10 per cent more likely to die within five years than their continental counterparts. But pensioners with the disease have 44 per cent less chance of survival. The figure for stomach cancer – at 45 per cent – is even worse.

And Britons with prostate cancer are a fifth less likely to survive than Europeans if they are 85 and over.

Why is the situation so bad in the UK? Because an overstrained national health care system has to death panel somebody to open up resources for the Pakistani, Somali and Bangladeshi families overruning its cities.

And it’s easiest to kill the old.

Older people are being denied vital surgery for cancer, hernia repairs and joint replacements because the NHS imposes “cutoffs” for treatment based on age discrimination, a report has warned.

The study found that while people’s health needs increase as they grow older, rates of planned surgery for some common conditions among older people steadily decline.

Life expectancy is 78 for men and 82 for women. Yet men and women who need a new hip or knee, usually owing to arthritis or a fall, are most likely to get one up to the age of 75 but less likely to do so after that, even though National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) guidelines to the NHS say age should not influence whether someone has that surgery, given its benefits.

Joint replacements appear to be increasingly restricted as the NHS rations treatments in an attempt to save £20bn by 2015. That financial pressure could mean older people are disproportionately affected by this trend in coming years, the report warns.

The statistics back it up.

Nearly half of health professionals (45%) say they have dealt with a cancer patient who has been refused treatment on the grounds they were too old and nearly two in three (67%) said they have heard health professionals speak to older cancer patients in a condescending or dismissive way.

 

  • UCSPanther

    Remember: Nicolae Ceasescu towards the end of his reign prohibited medical care to the elderly.

    • darnellecheri

      Towards the end of Ceasescu’s reign, no one was getting medical care unless you had cartons of Kent cigarettes, chocolates, coffee or meat for payment.

      • A Z

        Panther still has a point. The failing socialist/communist (pick you flavor) system in its’ death throes probably failed the elderly first. Did it not?

        Are you Romanian? Maybe you can tell us.

        • darnellecheri

          It failed the entire social stratum from the unborn to the elderly. I was an eyewitness to the tragedy there. I am an American.

      • UCSPanther

        And who can forget those foul orphanages.

        One bullet riddled death was not enough for that scumbag.

        • darnellecheri

          Unfortunately, orphanages during the Ceausescu era were forbidden for Westerners to enter, and post-Revolution, the world understood why. Due to the Romanian medical community being deprived of the knowledge of Western medical advances, and the onslaught of the AIDS virus, along with being deprived of medical supplies, the Romanian medical community (most) were using the same needles injecting blood from adults to infants. Too tragic for words, I’m afraid.

          • UCSPanther

            I understand old man Ceasescu didn’t want to admit to the world that HIV was infecting the Romanian people, and it was said that he kept infection rates and any other knowledge related to the virus a tightly guarded state secret.

  • Marylou

    So, that means we’re required to pay in for 40-50 years, but we get to utilize our hard-earned coverage for only 9 years? OK, time for a class action lawsuit to get those other 40+ years of premiums refunded so we can afford to travel offshore to get our medical care there.

  • john spielman

    One must be very careful to examine the cause of increased mortality in the elderly to be sure if it is failure to treat because of underlying chronic medical conditions or whether intentional neglect. It is a medical fact that the elderly have decreased physiological reserve and will not tolerate full dose chemotherapy for aggressive cancer treatment. Unless one can tolerate full dose chemotherapy, the person will not benefit at all or with minimal effect. I work in a fully socialized medical system and there is definitely NO age discrimination. But many times I must concede that a particular elderly person would live longer with palliation rather than with either aggressive surgery or chemotherapy, which can kill the person quicker than simply treating the pain and /or bowel obstruction by non surgical means.

    • Kolobok42

      These factors aren’t going to be so much different between a Brit and someone living on the continent to explain the difference in survivability from the one system to the other.

      • john spielman

        the life expectancy in Canada ( pure socialized mediceine) is greater than the US (private medicine)
        I’m about to operate on a person over 90 years old with an emergency and I can tell you categorically there is no age discrimation here (Canada)

        • Moa

          Thanks for your factual input.

          Is the perceived cost-benefit ratio more of a factor than age? Surely some people are denied treatment that is too expensive for the socialized system (I live in New Zealand, we’re full socialized – and there aren’t enough resources that the medical professionals need ; hence I have private insurance, which means I pay tax and for medical insurance).

          The other factor in socialized health (at least here) is not that old people won’t be treated, it is that they have long waiting lists until they are treated. I understand that the waiting in the US is much shorter for those with insurance.

          Private insurance has been *much* faster to serve me when I needed it. I get the same quality of care, more comfortable surroundings, but treated pretty much straight away. My sister had breast cancer and was treated and through surgery and a course of chemo in the same by the time some people she met had the first appointment with a public health specialist.

          This is not intended as an indictment of the medical professionals – who provide equivalently excellent care in the two systems (public and private), since the same specialists work in both systems. What I’m talking about is the management of constrained resources, and the impact that has on treatment timelines.

          • john spielman

            In Canada it is illegal to have a parallel private system like the UK or New Zealand so everything is paid for by tax dollars. There are attempts to shorten waiting lists for certain procedures by the govt paying hospitals extra for certain procedures like hip replacement knee replacement and cataract surgery in an attempt to shorten waiting time. In addition private surgery clinic can offer people a chance to “jump the que” by charging people a ” facility fee ” to cover the cost of the private clinic while the surgeons fees, anesthesia fees etc are covered by the tax funded provincial medical insurance.

          • john spielman

            Also we try to treat all cancers with in 2weeks of diagnosis as far as surgery is concerned but there may be delays for surgery if preop chemo or radiation is needed. The medical and radiation oncologists usually see pts within 2weeks of diagnosis and start treatment as soon as any surgical wounds are healed (if surgery done first)
            All emergency surgery is done as emergent. Immediate life or limb is done immediately. Bowel obstructions, acute appendicitis are done within 6-8 hours. Fractured hips within 48hours (delay of at least 24hours is needed to allow bleeding to stop) fractured ankle within 2-4days.

          • Moa

            All countries do emergency treatment immediately. The biggest difference is in waiting times for non-urgent surgery. Some people have to wait years with painful and debilitating, but not life threatening, conditions because the funding only provides for X number of surgical teams that can do aX procedures/annum. The constraint, as always, is cash and supply cannot meet demand because it is difficult to divert more from the tax haul without ruining the economy.

            The “facility fee” system you explain seems to be a poor workaround to the public & private duality that exists in the UK, NZ, Australia, the USA, and probably elsewhere too. In order to cling to dogma the Canadian system will try and do the same thing, but just have more bureaucracy in the way, right?

            What it comes down to (as it always does) is ‘choice’. You can be treated in the public sector using your tax dollars – but be at the whims of the priorities set by the politicians that hold the purse-strings, the bureaucrats that run the system, and the hard-working but stretched providers. Of, you can instead choose to divert some of your earnings to receive insurance for faster and more focused healthcare, along with a better experience (private rooms with great facilities instead of shared wards).

            This is no different to choosing auto insurance, or house insurance, or travel insurance, or contents insurance, or income protection insurance, or business liability insurance, etc etc – yet the Big State bureaucrats feel the need to insert themselves between the customer and the provider – all because of socialist dogma and a reaction to conditions 150 years ago in the early Industrial Era. This represents an inefficiency in the system, and diverts money from providing the best possible care and facilities into the legions of bureaucrats who deal with ever increasing reams of paper, not all of which may be necessary.

            The socialization of health care is a relatively recent invention/experiment. If the Government regulates the industry enough to ensure that there is not gouging or discrimination by providers then there shouldn’t be the need for the legions of civil servants, a cohort would be sufficient instead.

            Here’s a question for you. If you or your family have a major illness would you prefer to use the private system (which is unquestionably adequate, and does the very best with the resources it is given) or would you prefer to use one of the private clinics with their “facility fees” ?

          • john spielman

            the bottom line is: a private health insurance makes a profit for its investors and denies affordable premiums to those with either preexisting disease or a bad family history while a public covers both equally with everyone else.

          • Moa

            > “the bottom line is”

            FALSE. This is only scratching the surface.

            > ” private health insurance makes a profit for its investors ”

            FALSE. The private health insurance I’m with is a non-profit society. Because there is competition in private providers here we get a *choice* as to:

            1) whether we get health insurance at all

            2) who we go with (for-profit or non-profit)

            3) how much cover to get

            4) how much to pay (for me, its around $NZ 200/quarter, which is around $US 166/quarter; sorry, don’t know the conversion into Canuck Rubles :) ).

            There is *nothing* wrong with making a profit. A profit is required for any activity to continue and investment to be made (into people, facilities, advanced research, etc). Sure, *excessive* profit is a problem, because that means a scam is being run – but that is a different issue entirely.

            Would it be fair to say that you’ve never run a business yourself that involves the free exchange of money for a service? At the moment the socialised system uses the threat of coercive force by the government (if you don’t comply with the rates *they* set, they will first fine you, then jail you, and finally [in the US at least] send armed agents that can kill you without provocation – as has happened in the past). A private business involved in the free exchange of money for a service does not have the luxury of the immorality of extortion nor the monopoly of violence the State has. Therefore, they must act sanely and cannot take on people with known conditions that would exceed the contribution the person has already paid. The solution to this is to join up when you have no pre-existing conditions, rather than joining late to a plan and expect to reap the benefits of other’s contributions without having provided input yourself. Note: a similar thing is happening with mass immigration into your country, where people arrive and expect benefits taken from money the ordinary folks contributed for years of hard work without having yet contributed themselves.

            > “while a public covers both equally with everyone else.”

            I’ve already mentioned how the Government uses coercion to achieve this – an option not available to companies that can only offer the free exchange of money for a service.

            Also note that while the Government offers cover, it does not guarantee timeliness of service for anything except urgent treatment, but we’ve already established that there are long waiting lists – and that people willingly pay the fictional “facility fees” to get treatment. I say “fiction” because these fees are a recognition that people want to pay for the best health they can and better service, but the Canadian bureaucracy feels it must remain in control of the transaction (hence increasing paperwork, raising costs, and slowing things down unnecessarily).

            > “and yes I both work in( I’m a suregeon) and use the public system only. ”

            I guessed this. Thank you for your years of hard work and study. Don’t you feel that you should be rewarded for that, including financially (which means your family benefits). If you were truly a socialist you’d refuse to be paid anything more than a cleaner. The big lie they tell you is that you are a ‘socialist’ – you’re not: you’re a moral person that would help whether or not you were paid, but you also believe that your skills took investment and there should be a return on that investment, and you also believe in private property.

            Please understand that for all your undoubted talents in medicine it appears you know very little about economics and the philosophy of economics. I don’t mean to insult you, it’s just that you are so used to being the smartest person in the room every time it gets easy to lose sight of where the limits of your knowledge lie. The reason I understand this is because I, as a former astrophysicist, used to be exactly the same. It was only within the last year that I came to grasp how little I knew about economics and the philosophy of it, and the thinking behind the Enlightenment and Liberty. I also knew very little about ‘Cultural Marxism’ and how our media are shaping our information and opinions to promote and anti-liberty agenda (the media and academics think they are doing great good, but are actually eroding liberty). My mistake for a long time was thinking that because I also knew a lot about science that it carried over to economics and philosophy. It doesn’t. Hence, I hope to wake you up, and if you follow the Scientific Method you’ll be able to ‘Step outside the Matrix’ that the Cultural Marxists have deployed to ensnare your thinking.

            You can Google ‘Cultural Marxism’ and learn about the history of the Frankfurt School and folks such as Antonio Gramsci. The antidote to the liberty-crushing Cultural Marsists are much of the economics and theories of the ‘Austrian School’ of economics. I highly suggest reading Friedrich Hayek or Ludwig von Mises, or their newer incarnations in Milton Friedman or Thomas Sowell (a living legend).

            You will also learn a lot by YouTubing Bill Whittle, Stefan Molyneaux and Yuri Bezmenov. David Horowitz is also excellent too – which is good since you’re already on Front Page Mag.

            Other great reading is “Disinformation” by Lt. Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa – which explains why the papers you read are deceiving you (mixing fact with propaganda, and hoping you never notice).

            I’ve wandered off-topic, so I’ll recap the argument:

            1) Your position on health care is that socialised systems are good because everyone is offered the medical equivalent of a Trabant. Nothing other than the Trabant is needed. Even in your country people want to pay for alternatives to the Trabant, but the Government insists it must all go through the Trabant manufacturer. You get the Trabant whether you like it or not because the Government knows better than you do – and thereby gets to make the choice for you (because it assumes you are not adult enough to make your own life choices).

            2) My position is that everyone should get a choice, and the more choice the better – because a basis of liberty is free choice. People can get the Trabant if they want. If they don’t want the Trabant they can get a scooter and save money (hoping they’ll never get in an accident), or they can spend more of their resources and pay for a Mercedes if they are risk averse. Having more ‘manufacturers’ helps prevent abuse and improves service – more competition is always good (and light Government regulation necessary too). Whatever happens, you only get the benefits of what you contribute to and you don’t have to pay for the life choices of others (eg. unprotected sex with drug users, prostitutes, homosexuals; or pot or tobacco smoking, or heroin use; insanely risky sports for the adrenaline junkies. etc). Everyone gets treated as an adult – with all the freedom to make good or bad choices as they see fit – but we are not punished for the bad choices of others. People receive the consequences of their choices (good or bad). *This* is liberty, because without choice we are not Free.

            Funnily enough, people still help each other (voluntarily) without Government intervention, the poor will still be looked after, the difference is the Big State inserts itself less in the process and introduces less waste and inefficiency. We also won’t get medical boards deciding to let people die at 75 because the tax money is better used to give to Islamist immigrants whose ideology hates our very freedom. Instead, that 75 year old can spend some of the savings they make over the previous 50 years to choose what they’d like to do. *This* is liberty – and it is the only way society can progress without collapsing from overspending (which is happening now in all socialized countries, because the stored wealth of all previous generations has been used up, and we’re committed our children and grandchildren to be enslaved in our debt already – but that madness cannot go on any longer).

  • laura r

    david horowitz is 75.

  • BQ

    Wasn’t it Kapo Soros who described our elders as “useless eaters”?

    • A Z

      Soros is retiring at 82. Would it not make him a useless eater?

      • laura r

        he will never retire. he will live to be 100, & then some. in his mind he is “useful”. he founded the “open society” which gives grants for propaganda projects. his influence is endless. he must be one of the most powerful people in the western world. speaking of usless eaters, this is exactly what he wants for the USA.

        • A Z

          George Soros Retires From Hedge Fund Management

          By Tim Worstall July 26, 2011 10:38 AM

          No, George Soros is not retiring per se: just retiring from the business of managing others’ money

          __________________________________________
          It gives him more time to dabble and screw up.

  • A Z

    I just can’t see denying a $75 year old a hernia repair.

    The Left has spoken and indicted itself.

    The repairs cost between $6,200 and $8,800? The rich, upper middle class and middle class will be able to afford hernia repairs. The Obama phone lady will not. the base of the Democrat party will declare this unfair. But it is their ranchers that made the mess. Of course they will offer nay demand to clean up their own mess in order to gain more control.

    http://newchoicehealth.com/Hernia%20Repair%20Surgery-Cost

    • john spielman

      here in Canada (socialized medicine) I routinely electively operate on inguinal hernias at all ages even into their 90s. It can be done under local anesthesia and we do it to avoid strangulation of the hernia which may require a bowel resection and hence a general anesthetic. General anesthesia can be dangerous in the chronicalyl ill patient with congestive heart failure or severe chronic lung disease.

      • A Z

        The complications of using a general anethestic with congestive heart failure is interesting. Laymen (myself included) often hear that a certain percentage of surgeries have bad outcomes. It is good to know to be able to categorize the reasons for bad outcomes instead of saying we don’t know (idiomatic cause). I think it is profitable for doctors and patients for society in general to know. Less frivolous lawsuits and more people taking control and responsibility for their lives.

        My grandparents all lived into their 90s. It does not seem too expensive to have provided them with care after they paid taxes all their working life. We are talking about hernia, breast cancer, cataracts, with no relapse. and maybe a heart attack (one of each). The cost spread over 4 people for a lifetime just does not seem all that much.

      • john spielman

        I should also mention that over 90% of Canadians like this system though we do have enormous financial pressures to keep the quality of care up while trying to save taxpayer’s money!

  • A Z

    According to surveys taken by the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” health is people’s #1 concern.

    This is a make or break issue for the Democrat Party.

  • Len Colby

    LOL another risible offering from FP Most if not all the other countries in Europe have socialized medical systems roughly similar to the UK’s so even if the article is accurate it reflects problems with the NHS rather than socialized medicine itself. And Obamacare is very different from the systems in the UK or other European countries.

  • carltjohnson

    Thank goodness I do not use modern medicine, socialized or otherwise. Maybe I’ll live past 75.