"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Government Wants to Reduce Cancer Rates by Redefining the Term "Cancer"

"There's nothing wrong with you... I swear it. Besides you're not technically really a human being unless you're a Democrat. The science is settled."

It's a typical Leftist ploy-- using language games to either make a concern look worse or better depending on the whim of those in charge.

From the Forbes article by Paul Hsieh (h/t Instapundit):

The federal government wants to reduce the number of Americans diagnosed each year with cancer. But not by better preventive care or healthier living. Instead, the government wants to redefinethe term “cancer” so that fewer conditions qualify as a true cancer. What does this mean for ordinary Americans — and should we be concerned? 
But while there are legitimate scientific and medical questions about the proper definition and classification of any disease (including cancer), we must be careful that that any redefinition won’t be used for inappropriate political purposes. Given the increasing government control over US health care, how the government defines medical terms can have serious economic and policy implications. 
For example, the definition of a “live birth” has become important in discussions over health care policy. Many on the political Left cite the supposedly high infant mortality rate in the US relative to Europe as one of the failures of the US health system.
But Dr. Bernadine Healy (former director of the National Institutes of Health and of the American Red Cross) has noted:
The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don’t reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. 
Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates. For this very reason, the Organization for Cooperation and Development, which collects the European numbers, warns of head-to-head comparisons by country.

This "high infant mortality rate" was key argument recited endlessly by ObamaCare proponents a few years ago. It was rather telling to me, as the European models of health care are either directly run or heavily effected by the government. The redefinition of "live birth" was instituted to keep the countries' infant mortality rates artificially low. The U.S will inevitably follow through with similar sleight of hand tricks through language. It's in the playbook.

Similarly, the American Medical Association recently voted to declare obesity a “disease.” But as Cato Institute health care analyst Michael Tanner noted, “the AMA’s move is actually a way for its members to receive more federal dollars, by getting obesity treatments covered under government health plans.”  
Dr. Milton Wolf, a practicing radiologist who cares for patients with DCIS warns against this Orwellian possibility:
Health care rationing takes many insidious forms but perhaps the most immoral is for the government to wage a public relations campaign designed specifically to dissuade patients and doctors from seeking available cures for cancer. They scheme to rename cancer, not to cure it, but to deny it exists. These government rationers have calculated that rather than actually treat patients with cancer, it’s cheaper to simply keep them as calm as Hindu cows right up to the very end.
“Cancer” is a powerful word. Hence, whoever controls the definition of that word wields tremendous power over patients. Ordinary Americans should stay vigilant to ensure this power isn’t wrongly used against them.
Dr. Wolf  is, of course, a racist who wants all of us to die... or something.

One of the great problems in allowing the government-- especially one proven to be untrustworthy by a number of recent high-profile scandals-- to run health care and judiciously dole treatments with an idea toward cost-saving, is that the truth becomes completely lost. Any sort of trust that is supposed to exist between patient and doctor is lost as doctors are required to redefine, to the point of untruth, diagnoses, treatment options, and future prognosis due to the federal legal requirements. It's Orwellian and wrong. And it's guaranteed by ObamaCare.

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