For some reason Betsy McCaughey has an op-ed in today's WSJ entitled "Obama's Health Rationer-in-Chief". Two questions:
1. Why is this whacknut being given such a prominent forum to express her disjointed views?
2. Doesn't the WSJ have an unspoken responsibility to the national discourse not to promulgate garbage? I mean, has the Journal lost its last shred of integrity? Is it all Rupert Murdoch's fault?
In this piece, McCaughey demonizes Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a prominent medical ethicist, as the grand wizard of rationing and euthanasia. Basically she cherry picks quotes from Emanuel to build her flimsy case. She's appalled that he has the gall to suggest that implementing expensive, futile, unproven treatment options may not be in the best interest of society at large, let alone the patient herself.
This woman is an unabashed liar and an intellectual lightweight. Whether it's ranting about the so-called death panels or penning an unworthy character assassination on a reputed ethicist, she has demonstrated that there are no limits in her quest to dumb down the debate and advance her political agenda. It's an embarassment.
Dr. Emanuel doesn't have all the answers. But he has demonstrated an intellectual curiosity that is sorely lacking from the right. He has the gall to ask fundamental questions about real life issues that too often we choose to ignore or sweep under the rug. Ought we to extend public medical care to demented, incapacitated Americans indefinitely? Is it right to approve experimental, expensive chemotherapy regimens for patients with metastatic cancer when the regimen may, at best, only extend life by 2 or 3 months? These are real life scenarios that we as physicians see every day. It isn't just a thought experiment. We need to have this discussion. We need an intelligent debate. But not this partisan oversimplification, name-calling and exaggerations. It's beneath us.....
By the way, Ezekiel Emanuel is unequivocally opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Read about it here if you like.