Krauthammer on End-of-Life Talk

Charles Krauthammer wrote an enlightening piece in the Washington Post called “The Truth About Death Counseling.”

He begins with this: “We might start by asking Sarah Palin to leave the room. I’ve got nothing against her. She’s a remarkable political talent. But there are no ‘death panels’ in the Democratic health-care bills, and to say that there are is to debase the debate.”

He then goes on to talk about what actually happens in hospital situations when someone is near death, and the limited role of a living will. He says the section in the health bill which talks about doctors giving end-of-life counseling isn’t as benign as its defenders say it is.

He concludes, “It’s not an outrage. It’s surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor.”

I’m not a big fan of Krauthammer when he’s on talk shows. But this column was very measured and informative.

Even Joe Klein liked it, saying on Swampland, in a backhanded way, “Charles Krauthammer has not been entirely unreasonable in the current health reform battle.”

Later, Klein writes this wonderful parenthetical: “It is hilarious how Republicans want to reform lawyers but not insurance companies, and Democrats vice versa.”

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