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Dr. Ezekiel “Death Panel” Emanuel defends Obamacare debacle

Dr. Ezekiel “Death Panel” Emanuel defends Obamacare debacle

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Rahm Emanuel, was on Kelly File last night. (Video embed at bottom of post.)

You may not remember Ezekiel. He was the Dr. Death Panel referred to by Sarah Palin in early August 2009 (emphasis added):

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of 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. Such a system is downright evil.
Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

Rep. Michele Bachmann highlighted the Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff, in a floor speech to the House of Representatives. I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.

In response to Palin’s us of the term “death panel,” we explored Ezekiel’s writing to which Palin was referring, Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions (full embed at bottom of post).

On August 8, 2009, we wrote An Inconvenient Truth About The “Death Panel”:

While Emanuel does not use the term “death panel,” Palin put that term in quotation marks to signify the concept of medical decisions based on the perceived societal worth of an individual, not literally a “death panel.” And in so doing, Palin was true to Dr. Emanuel’s concept of a system which

considers prognosis, since its aim is to achieve complete lives. A young person with a poor prognosis has had a few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern the disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognoses. When the worst-off can benefit only slightly while better-off people could benefit greatly, allocating to the better-off is often justifiable….

When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.

Put together the concepts of prognosis and age, and Dr. Emanuel’s proposal reasonably could be construed as advocating the withholding of some level of medical treatment (probably not basic care, but likely expensive advanced care) to a baby born with Down Syndrome. You may not like this implication, but it is Dr. Emanuel’s implication not Palin’s.

It is in this context, which Kelly did not raise, that you should view the video of Ezekiel’s performance on the Kelly File last night:

I think Joe Brooks had it right:

Turns out, of course, that Palin was right. “Death panels” as a euphemism for government controlled cost-based health care decisions is an accepted concept on the left, as this Slate article supports:

A woman holds the hand of her mother, who is dying from cancer, during her final hours at a palliative care hospital in Winnipeg on July 24, 2010. In the neighboring province of Ontario, a tribunal, rather than a patient’s family or doctors, can make final health care decisions.

Canada Death Panels Slate

Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions


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Ah, that Ezekiel Emanuel, who gave him that strong and powerful name when what he supports is antithetical to it? He sure does love the sound of Obamacare death panels in the morning.

I watched that with some interest and a degree of amusement.

Good ol’ Zek was VERY condescending to Kelly…which I think you do at considerable risk.

He was also AMAZINGLY non-responsive when a question was put to him. I would NEVER let this elitist prick near any sick relative or myself.

Finally, as respects “Death Panels”, when you remove the forces of the market that help individuals make choices about their own or their family members’ health care, ALL you are left with is a rationing system.

And “rationing” has a meaning, and it involves some authority telling you how much, and under what circumstances, of a good you can have.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | October 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Medical treatment rationing is a tool of the Obamacare system that would also allow those in power to deploy it politically, a not at all paranoid concern after seeing the IRS misused to target conservatives for punishment, and the DoJ misused to muzzle a free press and intimidate whistle blowers. (And the EPA, NPS, etc., etc.)

Conservative Beaner | October 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I watched this jerk and he is the same as his a-hole brother Rahm. Dr. Emanuel descibes the current health insurance as crummy policies and that Obamacare is much better a slightly higher price. This of course is a pipe dream.

People will be forced to buy a policy that has coverage you do not want. Health checkups, most youth are healthy and do not need to see the doctor and will not use that option. Single men and elderly women do not need pregnancy coverage. Singles and couples without children do not need pediatric care.

Since Dr. Emanuel is the architect of this disaster can we sue him for malpractice?

    It’s likely to increase the number of people who decide to risk going without insurance since the government has effectively priced them out of the market and they don’t qualify for a “subsidy” either.

    Those who do buy insurance at double the price they used to pay will be severely hampered in their ability to accumulate savings.

    This hideous law rips apart the cardinal rule of medicine: “First, do no harm.”

OBOZOCARE is gutting Medicare (by about $750 BILLION) for seniors to fund Medicaid for leeches. d-cRAT really want seniors – who tend to not vote for them – to just die. (FYI: Medicaid is essentially the SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM loved by d-cRAT socialist extremists.) My parents just had their co-pays, fees and deductibles massively INCREASED (some by as much as 100%) by UnitedHeathcare in its Medicare Advantage plan – effective IMMEDIATELY !! – not when their plan renews next January. This shift of money and the effects on seniors, of course, is being TOTALLY, 100% ignored by the corrupt leftist media. Hopefully, all seniors will realize what the d-cRATs are doing to them and then work harder to remove these lowlifes from power.

    Radegunda in reply to MicahStone. | October 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I remember seeing lawn signs that said “Keep your hands off OUR Medicare” when Republicans were talking about ways to shore up the system for future beneficiaries.

    Now that Democrats are taking away benefits from current beneficiaries, there is TOTAL silence from the “Keep your hands off OUR Medicare” crowd.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Radegunda. | October 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      They are largely unaware of it due to a lapdog media that attacks Republicans wanting to cut Medicare, but protects Democrats doing the same by simply not reporting it. They’ll know it when it actually happens, though, and that will be worse for Dems.

Just what one would expect from our modern day Mengela.

I guess that being obnoxious runs in the Emanuel family but then you have to consider the fact that they originate from thug ridden Chicago.

That’s probably why he managed to evade every one of Megyn’s question by providing no direct responses.


“Death Panel” Emmanuel. Has sort of a Joseph Mengele ring to it.

I know that “thug politics” is the commonly used term to describe Chicago’s political system. But to me it should really be “pussy politics”. A “thug” is a tough guy that will beat you up. A “pussy” is someone that will get someone else to beat you up. If we use those definitions, these Chicago politicians are a bunch of pussies, because they’re just using their political power/hackery to abuse you; none of them would have the stones to challenge anybody directly.

Yes. I really, really want the doctor standing beside me in the hospital to be weighing my situation and deciding whether I or the sixteen year old down the hall needs the treatment. Yep, that’s the doctor I want.

I’m sorry, we have the money to treat everyone – it means doing things differently, and letting the market set the prices but we could do it. What is the real agenda here? Just don’t like old folks, sick folks, preemies? Is this another type of holocaust? Get rid of the drags on society? Well, I don’t like Zeke. Is that good enough for government work?

    Radegunda in reply to JoAnne. | October 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Some people apparently are drive by an overwhelming urge to control the lives of other people, preferably very large numbers of people, like hundreds of millions. It’s hard for normal people to understand that mentality, so we try to find some other rationale for what they’re doing. But nearly everything that the leftists are doing can be explained by the ambition to drag other people around like puppets in their fantasy theater.

    Radegunda in reply to JoAnne. | October 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    When Dems want to spend more of the people’s money on their pet projects, they say “This is a rich country! Of course we can afford this!” But their totalitarian approach to “health care reform” is predicated on the notion of permanent scarcity, so somebody should tell Granny to take a pain pill instead of getting a pacemaker.

You are wrong in assuming that you will find any evidence of a “death panel”. I have been in medicine for 40 years and can assure you that doctors and their lawyers would never, ever put together such a concept. It is far too direct. Instead, you will see terms like quality care and what is best for the patients. Whenever you see those terms, you know you are screwed.

Here is the way quality of care works to reduce cost. Lets say I see a patient with a really bad heart muscle who has triple vessel CV disease. He clearly needs bypass to improve his quality of life, but also, he is the prime patient to have a really good long term prognosis, that is after an initial increased risk of the surgery. I present this to the surgeon and he will not operate as the short term risk is higher than the average and thus would reflect badly on his stats and he will be penalized by the overseers. Thus the patient loses and dies an early death. That is good for the insurance as they avoided a costly surgery and the patient in dying early reduced their life time outlay. This was frowned upon when insurance was free of the government, now that insurance is the government, we are getting rules and regs that are pointing us to this ultimate scenario.

This is only one situation, there are multiple areas where we will be restricted. I will not be able to order a stress test as it might find a problem and finding the problem could lead to hospitalization and thus count against me. I will be restricted in offering cardiac caths for multiple reasons. I will have to follow cardiac guidelines, which might sound prudent, but these are not the standard of care and are only “guidelines” but it I vary I will be punished and if I vary my patients will benefit more than strict adherence. The issue is complicated, but I assure you that we are facing a major shift in the way medicine is practiced.

Then there are the preventative measures. There is not such thing as preventative medical care. I can do nothing to significantly effect your prognosis if you don’t have disease. But the academic doctors think you can and they are arranging that preventative care is mandatory and that if you don’t follow the prescribed agenda, you get fined. So you will be fined for being over weight, not eating right (does nothing), keeping your bp under control, etc.

In short, there will not be a death panel, only now you will be killed by mandatory quality.

    JerryB in reply to david7134. | October 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    To borrow a quote from someone I don’t recall, “Once the coverage is mandatory, the treatment will, at some point, become mandatory.” As you point out, the gov will regulate what you eat, how much alcohol you purchase, how many calories you buy. Also, you will be required to take the pills prescribed, and to receive the shots.

    I don’t vaccinate my kids, and avoid all shots, drugs, and even doctor visits (a.k.a. BCBS surveillance). In ten years, will I have to receive flu shots? Take Lipitor?

    In addition to the “death panel” regulations, we’re headed to Nuremberg all over. As a Jew, Zeke should know better.

    JoAnne in reply to david7134. | October 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Yes, and another euphemism for quick death is “keeping the patient comfortable.” Lots and lots of morphine…

    Aridog in reply to david7134. | October 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    David … you sound for all the world like my doctor who recently retired. Your words could be his, hell, you may be him using a pseudonym. His first name is Keith and his skills were and are well honed from years of experience starting as a doctor in a forward unit of the 11th Cavalry in Vietnam through being a head of a medical department in a local teaching hospital. He spotted my cancer 2+ years before anyone else did or could prove it was cancer…fortunately I survived the relatively mild focus radiation treatments and today show no sign of cancer. The key point, from a vague x-ray, he knew what was growing there…many many tests later confirmed it. He has been a key no nonsense part of my health related life and I will miss him, we both had that old Vietnam veteran thing going for us, a crucible or sorts…I remember well the superb physicians and surgeons in the Evac unit I wound up in, flawless work, without any negatives to this day 44 years later. Keith and I had a bond of trust, and as I have said he could have written your words…in fact he essentially spoke them in our last conversations in his office.

    I will “steal” your piece here, but if I use it anywhere I will attribute it to “david7134” on “Legal Insurrection.


    Dick aka Aridog

I have a relative who has suffered from a condition since early childhood. He has had to be institutionalized since the age of 12 or so for his own safety, among other things.

Obamacare, by definition, takes resources away from people like him – the most defenseless who cannot help themselves, and who are, ostensibly, the kind of people that these welfare programs were designed for – and allocates it away to people who rather choose not to help themselves, by reasoning that their lives are somehow more “worthy”.

As a child, I remember walking around town with this relative, and while he could not talk and his actions were often at least odd, it never occurred to me that he was somehow less human

Dr. Jack Kevorkian said “If I had a son, he would look-like Zeke Emmanual.

    DouglasJBender in reply to Eddie_Yost. | October 29, 2013 at 1:08 am

    I can’t get over how skeletal Dr. Emanuel looks. And to me, it seems he has “the mouth of death”, somehow. It’s hard to explain. It sort of reminds me of Barney Frank, and a couple of other “famed” gays, I think. Perhaps it’s not a function of sexuality, but rather of repeated lying. Curious.

      DouglasJBender in reply to DouglasJBender. | October 29, 2013 at 1:11 am

      (I just checked, and, yep, Dr. Emanuel is indeed gay. I wonder what it is about some gays that it can be so obvious that they are just from their mouths [as I said, “mouths of death”], and their speech.)

ObamaDoesn’tCare is Geriatricide by bureaucracy.