I think the bioethics left has a bit of an identity crisis going on. On one hand, they decry those who warn against death panels. On the other, they often turn around and say we need death panels.
Thaddeus Pope, a law professor and believer in medical futility, has a post on bioethics.net describing where we already have and don’t (yet) suffer from death panels. I basically agree with his analysis (although Hawaii has not legalized assisted suicide and the state of Montana law is a muddle).
But at least he honestly describes the future planned for us by the Medical and Bioethics Intelligentsia. From, “Top 10 North American Death Panels:”
Many policymakers and commentators decry use of the term “death panel.” In contrast, I welcome broader and more frequent use of the term. Tragic choices must be made. And all sorts of tribunals are making life-and-death decisions not just every day, but even every hour of every day. Americans are being denied access to interventions that might prolong their lives. It is true. It is unavoidable. Recognizing the regularity and necessity for death panels will make discussions over when and how to use them more productive.