Stephen Hawking Defends Care in the UK

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Political Junky, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Political Junky
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    Political Junky Gold Member

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    Stephen Hawking Defends Care in the U.K. - Prescriptions Blog - NYTimes.com

    August 12, 2009, 6:01 PM
    Stephen Hawking Defends Care in the U.K.
    By BERNIE BECKER
    The physicist Stephen Hawking is defending Britain’s National Health Service after an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily said Mr. Hawking “wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K.,” where the health service would have deemed his life “essentially worthless.”

    The problem with the editorial, of course, is that Mr. Hawking, the author of “A Brief History of Time,” is very much a Briton — born in Oxford and currently a professor at the University of Cambridge.


    Chip Somodevilla/Getty
    Physicist Stephen Hawking receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday from President Obama.
    The publication’s mistake, which came in an editorial titled “How House Bill Runs Over Grandma,” has since been corrected. But on a larger level, the snafu also shows how quickly rationing, particularly at the end of life, has become a focus of the health care reform debate.

    Mr. Hawking — who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Wednesday — responded to the editorial this week, telling The Guardian newspaper, “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the N.H.S. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”

    (For the record, the original editorial contained this: “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.”)

    Editor Wesley F. Mann of Investor’s Business Daily did not respond to a request for comment.

    The I.B.D. editorial takes a look at rationing in the British health care system, calling the consequences “legendary.”

    “The stories of people dying on a waiting list or being denied altogether read like a horror movie script,” the editorial asserted.

    “The British have succeeded in putting a price tag on human life, as we are about to.”

    To back up that claim, the editorial quotes Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York, who wrote in the New York Post that “One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care.”

    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin recently took a similar tack on her Facebook page, writing that the sick and elderly would have to stand before “Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.”

    The Times’s Robert Pear and David Herszenhorn have found that those “concerns appear to be unfounded,” noting that the AARP said “the rumors out there are flat-out lies.”

    What the House bill would do, according to Mr. Pear and Mr. Herszenhorn, is “provide Medicare coverage for optional consultations with doctors who advise patients on life-sustaining treatment and ‘end-of-life services,’ including hospice care.”

    Politifact.com, the St. Petersburg Times’s truth-squadding team, has also looked into statements of Ms. McCaughey, including this one: “Congress would make it mandatory — absolutely require — that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner.”

    The group said that Ms. McCaughey was “spreading a ridiculous falsehood.”
     
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  2. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    The Republicans and the Blue Dogs are fighting a public option for healthcare because of the $3.4 BILLION DOLLARS in campaign contributions they have received from the healthcare industry. And their minions are too stupid to realize this. Just about everything they have said is lies.

    But the world is different today. It is not as easy to lie. And their lies are being exposed.

    The optional end of life counselling is the most amazing lie of all. Unbelievable! I guess none of these people has ever heard of a living will.
     
  3. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Too bad. Dude is now an enemy of the right.
     
  4. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    We have come a long way since the Herald, haven't we?
     
  5. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Those on the right have no idea who Stephen Hawking is. Remember, they are anti science.
     
  6. The T
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    The T George S. Patton Party Supporting Member

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    And Who is Hawking? And Who the Hell cares anyway?
     
  7. theDoctorisIn
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    theDoctorisIn Senior Mod Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator

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    Are you serious? I can't possibly believe you are.
     
  8. The T
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    The T George S. Patton Party Supporting Member

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    Who is he but another Human? And who cares? Why do people assign such status to certain people?

    Sure he is considered a *Genius*...and So the Hell what?
     
  9. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    :lol: Good one!
     
  10. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    Guy in a wheelchair whose "voice" sounds like a speak and spell. REALLY good at physics. Doctors said he would die in six months back in 1964. sound accurate?
     

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