iOS app Android app More

Lennard Davis

Lennard Davis

Posted: August 13, 2009 04:54 PM

Hey Sarah Palin! Why Not Actually Read Dr. Emanuel's article on rationing limited resources?


One of the biggest pieces of misinformation swirling around conservative websites is the claim that Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health care advisor to President Obama, and brother of his chief of staff, is actually "Dr. Death." One such website screams the headline
"DR. DEATH: Ezekiel Emanuel want to KILL SENIORS & INFANTS." Sarah Palin's Facebook page notes that he has written that "some medical services should not be guaranteed to those 'who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens... An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.'"

Comparing him to Dr. Kevorkian, the right-wing smear continues by implying that passing the health care bill will create a nightmarish scenario in which ghoulish "medical panels" will decide who lives and who dies and that Dr. Death will push for health care rationing that will hustle the old, the weak, and the disabled toward early graves.

If only anybody would bother to read the article that Dr. Ezekiel co-wrote, instead of getting it redacted through the fuzzy-headed mind and word salad language of Sarah Palin whose grasp of the facts is notorious at worst and laughable at best, you will quickly realize that the article does not discuss distributing health care in general but is clearly designed for a very specific scenario: it imagines a pandemic in which there are limited amounts of vaccines or limited hospital beds, or an organ donor list that is only has some organs and many in need of them. How should we most ethically allocate those limited resources?

While Sarah Palin, or anyone for that matter, may not like the idea that any citizen should be denied health care, how would she suggest we distribute the precious few kidneys available to a long list of people on dialysis or the limited swine flu vaccine this fall? What would be her principle of selection? Would she chose to give kidneys only to fundamentalist Christians? Republicans? The poor? The rich? Alaskans or soccer moms?

In reality, the Republican right is a group of either very poor readers or deliberate obfuscationists who have chosen very minor points of the health care bill to misread and distort into alarmist and extreme claims. Don't believe what they tell you any more than you would believe Sarah Palin when it comes to her view of the Bush Doctrine.


Follow Lennard Davis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lendavis