The merchants of death can talk all they like about choice, or compassion, or care, but at the end of the day, a major thing driving them is money. Whether it is the killers in the abortion mills making money, or those at the other end of life, making money - or at least saving money - can be a driving concern of these folks.
Of course it does not look too good in public to be known as someone who gets rich by killing people, so euphemisms and language games are employed to cover up these ugly truths. And former abortionists such as Carol Everett have admitted as much. She pitched her killing in the name of helping women and so on, but really the only concern for her was money: "Greed - the love of money and the things I could have with it - blinded me. [I was] an abortionist who used whatever means available to get a woman to have an abortion for the sake of money."
And she reports that this insatiable lust for money resulted in abortions being performed on women who were not even pregnant! Indeed, the temptation was to get every woman who came into a clinic to have an abortion. Says Everett, "Do you think an abortionist who works on a straight commission is going to tell a woman who has signed her consent form and has already paid in full that she is not pregnant?"
And the euthanasia brigade is often also driven by such crass financial considerations. A shocking news item just out in an English newspaper makes this quite clear. Consider this story from The Telegraph: "Almost two thirds of NHS trusts using the Liverpool Care Pathway have received payouts totalling millions of pounds for hitting targets related to its use, research for The Daily Telegraph shows.
"The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal the full scale of financial inducements for the first time. They suggest that about 85 per cent of trusts have now adopted the regime, which can involve the removal of hydration and nutrition from dying patients. More than six out of 10 of those trusts - just over half of the total - have received or are due to receive financial rewards for doing so amounting to at least 12 million pounds.
"At many hospitals more than 50 per cent of all patients who died had been placed on the pathway and in one case the proportion of forseeable deaths on the pathway was almost nine out of 10. Last night the Department of Health insisted that the payments could help ensure that people were 'treated with dignity in their final days and hours".
"But opponents described it as 'absolutely shocking' that hospitals could be paid to employ potentially 'lethal' treatments. The LCP was originally developed at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the city's Marie Curie hospice to ease suffering in dying patients, setting out principles for how they are to be treated. It involves the withdrawal of treatments or tests from patients which doctors believe could cause distress and do more harm than good.
"Protocols say that doctors should consult the patient, if possible, and their families. But the system has been mired in controversy amid claims that it can actively hasten death. A series of cases have also come to light in which family members said they were not consulted or even informed when food and fluids were withheld from their loved-ones.
"In some instances patients placed on the pathway because doctors judged that they were nearing the end of their life went on to recover. According to responses from a sample of 72 trusts, at least 12.4 million pounds has been paid out in the past two to three years to trusts which hit targets associated with use of the care pathway. But the full figure could be more than 20 million pounds." A number of protests have already been made about this: "Dr Gillian Craig, a consultant geriatrician who was among the first doctors to raise the concerns over the possible flaws of the LCP, described the use of the incentives as 'absolutely shocking. I think there should be questions in Parliament as to who instigated this policy and I think the cash payments should be stopped forthwith,' she said. 'You can't pay people to use a certain protocol that everybody knows to be lethal'."
And ethicist Wesley J. Smith has already penned a piece outlining his grave concerns about all this. "This is very bad. Only a small minority - maybe 2% - 5% - need to be sedated because it is the only way to control pain, and moreover, that the amount of sedation can be raised and lowered as needed - as I detailed elsewhere. Instead, centralized bureaucratic control has turned it into a checklist on the 'to do list' - with money apparently offered as an incentive because it supposedly represents 'excellence' in care - which results in sedation clearly being applied whether patients need it or not, and when less aggressive measures would suffice. "That cheats patients and families of their last time together. It is the destruction of individualized end-of-life care - indeed, one that ignores hospice altogether where the emphasis is on living, not dying quietly in a corner. And it seems to be a method - intended or not - of backdoor euthanasia that can save costs."
Given the ugly reality of death panels in the US under Obamacare, he reminds Americans to stand up and take notice here: "There is a warning here for us under Obamacare, in which bureaucrats also plan to create similar bureaucratic incentives to induce particular approaches of providing 'excellence.' Indeed, many Obamacarians look to emulate the UK method of centralized control cost containment/care provision regimes. We will come to rue the day if we allow Obamacare to remain on the books." Quite so. And don't think that financial interests are not pushing the euthanasia debate here in Australia. Cost-cutting is always a major concern in health care. Way back in 1994 for example the Economic Planning Advisory Commission (EPAC) was discussing the rising costs of health care for the elderly. In a publication EPAC actually looked at the issue of euthanasia as one option in the whole discussion. There was no talk about alleviating suffering or being compassionate - the whole proposal centred on cost-cutting measures. Money will always be a motivating factor in what we do. But it should not be a major consideration in health care - certainly not when it leads to killing people for whatever reason.