I don’t suppose it’s far for me to point to this story and mutter “Death Panels” under my breath because an actual panel isn’t involved. It’s just one woman who, thanks to the her national government, wields a ridiculous amount of power and wants to let babies die because she thinks the money spent to save their lives could be better spent elsewhere.

Babies born after just 23 weeks of pregnancy or earlier should be left to die, a leading NHS official has said.

Dr Daphne Austin said that despite millions being spent on specialised treatments, very few of these children survive as their tiny bodies are too underdeveloped.

She claimed keeping them alive is only ‘prolonging their agony’, and it would be better to invest the money in care for cancer sufferers or the disabled.

Dr Austin, who advises local health trusts how to spend their budgets, said doctors were ‘doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers’ and that treatments have ‘very marginal benefit’.

The NHS spends around £10million a year resuscitating babies born this early and keeping them alive on incubators and ventilators.

I could, quite literally, write thousands of words about the questions this doctor has loaded into just a few sentences. How much is your life — or any human life — worth? How does that amount change when the decisions are made by unaccountable bureaucrats instead of the people most affected by the decision? Who is Dr. Austin to determine whether your child’s life is valuable enough to save? I won’t even begin to answer any of these questions, because, quite honestly, I can’t. Neither can anyone else.

In truth, Dr. Austin is only telling you what she thinks the British Government can afford to keep a baby alive, not what she believes that baby’s life is worth. In truth, if it cost a million dollars to save a baby’s life, there are people all over England who would come up with that money in short order of their own volition. But that’s the problem with government-run health care systems. With a finite pool of money, the bureaucrats in charge can’t leave the decisions to doctors or patients. Those folks would say all sorts of crazy things like “Damn the cost; save the baby!” and “Price is no object”.

But in government-run health systems, price is the only object. Expensive long-shots like keeping a prematurely-born baby alive, or extending the life of an old person a couple more years will always lose to safer methods used on healthier patients. Before long, we simply let the weakest among us die off because we can’t afford to keep them around. It’s not a long step from there until we have de facto eugenics, as preached by progressives for at least a hundred years. I’m pretty sure we don’t want to go down that road, which is why we need to practice a little mercy killing of government-run health care here in our own country.

UPDATE: More thoughts here, from Old Line Elephant.

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6 Responses to “It’s Not a Death Panel If It’s Just One Person, Right?”

  1. Marie Bernadette says:


  2. Lyn says:

    It's hard to believe that anyone would put a monetary value on a human life and unimaginable that it is a doctor purporting this opinion.

    • Jimmie says:

      Everyone puts a value on the lives of those around them. In cases of our loves ones, that value is very high, verging on the incalculable. What I find egregious is that someone else will do that under Obamacare.

  3. Death Panels For Babies in Great Britain « That Mr. G Guy's Blog says:

    [...] Jimmie over at The Sundries Shack, we have [...]

  4. Taxpayer1234 says:

    Contrast that with the U.S., where we count super-preemies by the thousands as healthy, happy kids and adults-not "infant mortality" statistics.

  5. Dave says:

    I posted this over at the story on Old Line Elephant, but you might be interested as well:

    Heh. I am the Godfather to a preemie born at 23 weeks weighing just 14 oz. She’s just celebrated her 8th birthday and is in perfect health, if a bit small in stature. The irony here is that her mother, one of my best friends, is an ardent liberal, fervent Obama backer and noisy supporter of government run health care. I love her to death, and as such the effort I’ve made in the past few years that’s prevented me from grabbing her and shouting in her face “What you’re advocating would have meant the death of your daughter” is nothing short of astounding. She just….can’t see what’s right in front of her face. *sigh* Our friendship is worth more than an I told you so, so I won’t be forwarding this article on to her either.

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