Human Exceptionalism

“If Obamacare Dies, Sarah Palin Killed It”

Several weeks ago the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia sponsored a debate–more a discussion–between me and Thaddeus Mason Pope about end of life care under the Affordable Care Act. He supports medical futility. I oppose it. We went from there.

I began my presentation with the quote in the headline above–asserting that Palin’s term “death panels” may have put a spear through the heart of Obamacare.

I then said:

People are afraid of centralized bureaucrats dictating whether Craig’s [the moderator’s terminally ill babies) children can have medical care, whether my 96-year-old mother can have medical care, whether people with disabilities can have medical care…If you start looking at a quality of life ethic instead of an equality of life ethic, you’ve broken the back of Hippocratic medical values…

I worry you are deprofessionalizing medicine, turning it into a technocratic endeavor. I don’t think that’s good for the country. I don’t think that’s good for the medical system. And I don’t think that’s good for patients.

It was a good and thorough discussion, during which we disagreed and agreed about differing aspects of medical futility, health care rationing, and Obamacare. If you are interested, here is the link to the Youtube video.

I hope you will take the time to tune in, because your life and that of those you love are materially impacted by these issues.


Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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