But Now You Know

The search for truth in human action

America Already HAS Death Panels and Waiting Lists


Next time you see someone mocking the idea that America could have health care waiting lists and death panels, point out that we already do.

There is one domain of medical treatment that is mandated socialism-only, by the Federal government.

And, unsurprisingly, this system has a waiting list of over 100,000 people at a time.

You usually have to wait at least 1,000 days…nearly three years…for treatment.

In fact, you usually die before you get treated.

Why?

Big government types have heartlessly condemned thousands to death, by banning compensation to organ donors

Big government types have heartlessly condemned thousands to death, by banning compensation to organ donors

1,000 Day Waiting List

Because it’s illegal to compensate people for donating their organs.

That’s right, you can’t pay someone for a kidney, whether they’re alive and donating one, or they just died and are a good organ donor whose family desperately needs the money.

Because of this, out of the 2,000,000 Americans who die every year, only 5,000 donate their organs. The vast majority of potential organ donors do not…but, obviously, more would if they had the hope of helping their own families deal financially with their death.

And so, with this socialized organ donation system, there is a waiting list of over one hundred thousand people, and you will probably die during the average of 1,000 days you will wait for an organ.

Imagine how many more people would sign their donor cards, put that in their living wills, et cetera, if they could hope that they could at least help support their family, if they did die.

Consider how many families, left destitute because the bread-winner unexpectedly died without life insurance, could at least have the hope of compensation because he was an organ donor. In fact, 35% of all people who did sign an organ donor card fail to donate because their family refuses consent after they died. How many might have chosen otherwise, if they could be compensated for the emotional sacrifice?

It’s even possible for people to choose to donate some organs while alive. The kidney waiting list, in some parts of the country, is ten years. That’s 3,650 days waiting for a kidney, on a dialysis machine that slowly kills you. Yet people could choose to donate a kidney any time, even when alive and healthy. Frankly, I’d never do that for money, but other people should be free to disagree with me.

As dramatized on a popular TV show, Gregory House on his his way to a modern-day organ death panel, which rejects his patient, condemning her to death

As dramatized on a popular TV show, Gregory House on his way to a modern-day organ death panel, which rejects his patient, condemning her to death

Actual Death Panels

And let’s be clear: Because there is such a waiting list, there are actual panels of people who decide where each donated organ will go. They pronounce who gets them first, and who will not be allowed to have one at all, because it’d be a “waste”.

If you need an organ transplant, a panel will actually weigh how old you are, what shape you’re in, even what your lifestyle is, and then decide not only where to place you on the list, but even whether to just let you die. That’s right, if they don’t approve of how you live, they can pass you over to die.

Older people are actually passed over, because they’ve lived longer, and more “deserving” people moved ahead of them even after they’ve waited on the list.

There are already panels of people who will literally decide to let your grandmother die untreated, because she’s lived long enough.

It not only could happen in the US, it already does.

Do we really think, given the chance, that this won’t expand into every other part of health care that becomes socialized?

Criminal Transplants

It is a far greater crime when the government causes a death, because it is using supposedly legitimate authority to do so

It is a far greater crime when the government causes a death, because it is using supposedly legitimate authority to do so

Like Canadians and Brits sneaking to the US when their governments put them on endless waiting lists for life-threatening or painful conditions, Americans condemned to die by the socialized organ transplant system in America end up flying overseas, to obtain transplants, if they can afford to do so. Therefore the socialist prohibition actually ends up linking wealth to survival even more, not less as intended…only wealthier Americans can afford to fly a foreign country and pay for a transplant out-of-pocket. What’s more, it’s far more dangerous than an American transplant, since the US has the best surgery outcome rate of any nation on earth.

Meanwhile, avoiding questions of whether people really want to sell their organs, or are doing it for money, actually produces an even more dangerous system of commercial organ transplants, that of black market organs. There really is a question of whether an organ obtained this way was gotten from a consenting patient…and yet such a system exists only because it’s illegal to do so openly, with safe documentation.

Fix Transplants, Don’t Break Everything Else

Hope and/or pray that the US transplant system is de-socialized before you end up needing an organ, so that you won’t have to wait for years, and probably die without treatment.

And, as important, fight to keep the rest of the American health care system from ending up in the same, deadly, condition.

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September 17, 2009 - Posted by | Economy, Family, Health, Politics, Science | , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Excellent, what a weblog it is! This webpage gives useful facts to us,
    keep it up.

    Comment by Shani | July 25, 2013 | Reply

  2. […] December 13, 2010 by kazvorpal Leave a Comment It’s bad enough that the Federal government created its first actual death panels twenty years ago, with organ transplants. […]

    Pingback by Arizona’s Death Panel? « Pithy Pontifications | December 13, 2010 | Reply

  3. Just keep making good content.

    Comment by Robert Hatcher | November 27, 2010 | Reply

  4. Glad to have come across your posts some time ago on mises.org. I’ve now signed up to your blog because it saves me time writing this stuff myself.

    Same logic applies to adoption (which should better be known as acquisition of parental rights).

    Comment by dietwaldclaus | October 23, 2009 | Reply

  5. The cold hard fact is you are too stupid to understand that doctors are dedicated to saving lives and not looking over their shoulders to see if Kaz calls them socialists.

    Comment by Phil | October 11, 2009 | Reply

    • Well hey, perhaps we should stop paying doctors, as well as banning the paying of people generous enough to sacrifice their organs.

      Doctors should be dedicated to saving lives, not making money, just like donors.

      Sure, it will cause a doctor shortage, just like BANNING compensation of donors has caused a donor shortage, but hey, at least it’ll all be about saving lives.

      I mean, more people will die, just like the organ compensation ban has irrefragably caused more deaths, but at least nobody will be forced to become a doctor as a means of making money.

      Comment by kazvorpal | October 12, 2009 | Reply

  6. Speaking as someone who might actually know something about all this:

    The criteria anywhere in the U.S. for deciding who gets a transplant is based on availability, compatibility, and projected likelihood of success, among other factors. The long waits are not due to your imagined/implied death panels. Nor are these waits due to the fact that there is not a “free market” of human organs.

    The long wait is due to the simple fact that it isn’t very often that an organ donor comes along who is a biological match for someone on the waiting list. It’s not a dating service. Do you fucking understand that?

    Another simple fact, and even you stated this, is that there are less organ donors than those in need of organs. And yes, of course, such factors as a person’s life style are considered. What? Are you really that stupid that you do not understand this? It wouldn’t make much sense to give a liver to a 58 year old alcoholic before you give it to the 19 year old college student who doesn’t drink, no matter how much money the old geezer has. Now would it? Doctors are, after all, trying to save lives. (Imagine that.)

    There are no “death panels”. These decisions, believe it or not, are not made by faceless government bureaucrats but by the doctors and hospital staff themselves. Any unnecessary wait is usually, well let’s be honest here: any unnecessary wait is always due to the byzantine approval process of the patient’s private insurance company and not by any wild stretch of your sick imagination is it due to any decision making process by the United Network for Organ Sharing, as you so viciously and dishonestly insinuate. By the way, you merely insinuate this rather than state this outright because you are a coward. Also you don’t state this outright because if it is a fact that they do not let people die unnecessarily and there is no such thing as death panels in this organization, then you don’t have much of an article to write. Do you? Without these cowardly innuendos you don’t have a valid point at all.

    You also say Europeans are rushing to the U.S. to get transplants they can’t get in their home countries? Oh really? What a blatant lie. Just for your information, people come to the U.S. because there are indeed some excellent facilities for certain illnesses and special treatments, for example, cancer treatment in Houston, or laser knife surgery in Pittsburgh. Wonderful things, like the United Network for Organ Sharing. Things which Americans can rightly take pride in. Not you though. You don’t deserve that. Besides it’s not exactly political fodder for you anyway, is it? Especially considering how so much of this research and medical progress is subsidized by the great socialist Satan: our U.S. government.

    So you want to get compensated for your organs do you? Go to communist China. No socialism there right? Or how about Syria, El Salvador or Kenya? Yeah, they have sterling medical systems don’t they? I wonder if anyone else who is reading this article is as nauseated as I am by the ethical and economic implications of what a ghoul like yourself is suggesting?

    Hey Kaz, here’s hoping you get a liver transplant and your immune system rejects it. The United Network for Organ Sharing may treat you fairly as they do with all persons on their waiting list. But if I can do anything about it, I’ll make sure you wait a long long time.

    Comment by Phil | October 9, 2009 | Reply

    • Wow, you’ve just verified pretty much the entire article, including demonstrating why people should not have this kind of authority over others.

      > The long wait is due to the simple fact that it isn’t very
      > often that an organ donor comes along who is a biological
      > match for someone on the waiting list. It’s not a dating
      > service. Do you fucking understand that?

      If it was illegal to pay for dating services, those would be pretty rare, too.

      Allow me to reiterate something you have not disputed (because it’s the system’s own numbers); Out of each two million deaths in the US, only some five thousand people donate. That is a fraction of the number who qualify. And this excludes the fact that some organs can safely be donated when people are alive.

      That is all factual. If people could be compensated for donating, obviously the number would be higher than 30%. Even a child should be able to understand this logic process.

      > Another simple fact, and even you stated this, is that there are less organ donors
      > than those in need of organs. And yes, of course, such factors as a person’s life
      > style are considered. What? Are you really that stupid that you do not understand
      > this? It wouldn’t make much sense to give a liver to a 58 year old alcoholic before
      > you give it to the 19 year old college student who doesn’t drink, no matter how much
      > money the old geezer has.

      EXACTLY!

      This is precisely how a socialized medicine death panel works.

      And you are living proof that one can have the kind of twisted, sociopathic attitude that allows it to happen.

      “Hey, hospital beds are in short supply (because the hospital is detached from the marketplace of supply and demand), so it wouldn’t make much sense to give a room to a 65 year old retiree, when there are productive young people who need to get back out and work, later!”

      So grandma dies. But that’s how rationing works…let some people die, you pick favorites.

      YOU hate middle-aged people who drank too much when they were young. So you’d let that 58 year old man DIE, laughing at his geezerhood as his family mourned him.

      You’re a perfect government rationing panel candidate.

      > You also say Europeans are rushing to the U.S. to get
      > transplants they can’t get in their home countries?
      > Oh really? What a blatant lie.

      No, I believe what I said was “our socialized education system is a great model for how socialized health care would work…skyrocketing costs, plus people too functionally illiterate to understand when I say that Americans have to sneak to foreign countries to get transplants”.

      I mean, you got it entirely backward. Thank government.

      Why, precisely, should people not be allowed to be compensated for the sacrifice of their organs? Perhaps you think they shouldn’t get paid for labor, either. It makes as much sense either way.

      The cold, hard fact is that more people would donate if we were free to have a supply and demand system. There is no way around this.

      And, as you said, with our socialized organ transplant system, people are allowed to die, with death panels deciding that your grandfather doesn’t deserve to live, because they don’t like his lifestyle.

      Comment by kazvorpal | October 9, 2009 | Reply


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