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.

  • 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.