The article is less inflammatory than the headline – but the issue is very interesting. Even if you strip away the ridiculous tort system in the USA, and thus eliminate the “defensive medicine” reason for excessive tests, you are still left with cost issues affecting late-in-life or end-of-life health care. How much is enough? How much is too much? Who pays? Who decides?
Watch for this debate to be coming to a public health care system near you.
It isn’t that there is anything wrong with public health care (that’s emphatically not where I am going); it’s that any system in which a third party controls or distributes the funds, is a system that will – that must – eventually ration those funds. If the individual cannot (or is not allowed to) fully fund the cost of health care, then that individual is by definition ceding life/death decisions to others, and must accept that cost/benefit analysis may be a contributing factor in those decisions. “Death panels” may be a too-lurid way of describing the process, but that doesn’t necessarily make it inaccurate.