Medical Rationing, Death Panels and the Rising Cost of Health Care: Whittier Law School Health Law Symposium Paper
12 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2011
Date Written: 2011
This paper, prepared for the 2011 Whittier Law School Health Law Symposium, explores issues raised the partisan debate over charges that the national health-care reform legislation contained "death panels." Due to these charges, provisions were dropped from the legislation that would have expanded funding under Medicare for end of life consultation. The article argues that these these concerns were made against a backdrop of unsustainable increases in the cost of health care, particularly in the last year of life. The experience of other countries, particularly Britain, with limitations of health care spending and the impact of switching Medicare to a voucher program are also discussed. As a paper intended to introduce this topic for symposium discussion, the article concludes with a call for consideration of the medical, ethical, social, and economic issues raised by end-of-life heath care decisions.
Keywords: healthcare, health, care, health-care, reform, ration, cost, "death panel", medical, patient, Obama, Medicare, American, Democrat, Republican, Congress, "end of life", euthanasia, GDP, OEDC, insurance, drugs, NICE, "United Kingdom", "quality of life", QALY, "National Health Service", hospital
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