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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