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Born Too Early? You Die, Says Bureaucrats.

By Greg L | 9 September 2009 | National Politics | 20 Comments

Just when you thought the stories about nationalized healthcare couldn’t possibly get more alarming

Sarah Capewell begged them to save her tiny son, who was born just 21 weeks and five days into her pregnancy - almost four months early.

They ignored her pleas and allegedly told her they were following national guidelines that babies born before 22 weeks should not be given medical treatment.

Miss Capewell, 23, said doctors refused to even see her son Jayden, who lived for almost two hours without any medical support.

Disgusting.  Government bureaucracies absolutely are unworthy of any trust whatsoever, whether they’re in England (as in this case) or here.

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  1. yankeephil said on 9 Sep 2009 at 1:17 pm:
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    Thanks for link. It is crazy what they will do to ration care.

  2. Anonymous said on 9 Sep 2009 at 2:11 pm:
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    This is truly a horrible story; however, your summary misses a few key points:

    1. This happened in Britain,
    2. British Doctors made the decision (however ill-conceived it might be), and
    3. They were following guidance from the Nuffield Council, a private organization similar to our AMA (which also publishes guidance for Doctors).

    While certainly an example of “Doctors gone wild”, it IS NOT an example of Government intervention in medical decisions. Anyone who wants to “fact check” may go to the source at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211950/Premature-baby-left-die-doctors-mother-gives-birth-just-days-22-week-care-limit.html

  3. Concerned said on 9 Sep 2009 at 3:01 pm:
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    From the Nuffield Council web site (http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/go/aboutus/faq_6.html):

    “When vacancies arise, the Council advertises for new members in the national press, through its widely-distributed newsletter and on its website. The Council’s Membership Sub-Group, chaired by Sir Graham Hart, Former Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, considers and makes recommendations to the Council on future members selected from the respondents to the advertisements.”

    In other words, members of this council who make the life and death decisions must be vetted by a former head of the British National Health Service before being considered. This is tantamount to having a body in the US that would make such decisions headed by someone is a former head of a hypothetical Obamacare agency and charged as the gatekeeper as to who will and will not gain membership in that body.

    Make no mistake, this is a decision either made or controlled by government.

  4. Anonymous said on 9 Sep 2009 at 3:53 pm:
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    No, the guidance was published by the Council. The decision (such that it was) was made by Doctors.

    Read your own comment, Concerned, “The Council’s Membership Sub-Group (note the term Sub-Group), chaired by Sir Graham Hart, Former (note the word FORMER) Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, considers and makes recommendations (note the word RECOMMENDATION)…”

    I know you would like to support the original post; however, the facts just don’t fit. This is the kind of mis-information that is bringing Government to a grinding halt these days.

  5. Not llana Kaplan-Shain said on 9 Sep 2009 at 4:04 pm:
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    “This is the kind of mis-information that is bringing Government to a grinding halt these days.”

    As opposed to the half-truths being foisted on the public by the pro-socialized medicine Left, our President, and their allies in the MSM? “If you like your private coverage, you can keep it” when the current version of the House bill states otherwise, when the Congressional Budget Office confirms what the bill says. Like that is the truth.

    OK anonymous, how much is ACORN paying you to troll the blogs to astroturf responses, so that you can try to counter opposition on all fronts? I guess you are too intelligent for Organizing for America to put you in front of a polling booth with a night-stick. Since you can type and use a spell-checker, they’ve got you trying to muddy the waters here.

    You social-commies make me sick.

  6. sahdman said on 9 Sep 2009 at 4:05 pm:
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    Obamacide: the act of leaving a baby on a shelf to die

  7. Anonymous said on 9 Sep 2009 at 4:24 pm:
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    Not llana Kaplan-Shain, actually… I’m a fan of this blog (and several others). It often has some good local reporting (particularly on local issues) and the videos are GREAT. While I disagree with some things, I find myself in agreement with many of Greg’s opinions.

    In this case, the post was just wrong. An intelligent response would be, “when you’re right, you’re right.” You opted to go another way.

    I wish ACORN was paying me to troll blogs… perhaps I’ll give them a call and offer my services.

  8. Disgusted said on 9 Sep 2009 at 4:44 pm:
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    Not IIana,

    Why don’t you just save your fingernails and just say, “Whatever Obama is for, I’m against.” We get it! It will keep the length of your non-value added posts down so I can get to more thoughtful posts.

  9. Anon35 said on 9 Sep 2009 at 5:33 pm:
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    Excuse me?

  10. Peter Danlyn said on 9 Sep 2009 at 6:53 pm:
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    from the Daily Mail link above:
    Amillia Taylor was born in Florida on October 24, 2006, after just 21 weeks and six days in the womb. She celebrated her second birthday last year.
    Doctors believed she was a week older and so gave her intensive care, but later admitted she would not have received treatment if they had known her true age.

    So, this example is really nothing more than standard practice in the US of A. Sounds like we could use a little reform huh?

    Or maybe the mother in Fla was just uninsured, in wwhich case the headline should read “Born too poor, you die”.

    That seems to be more palatable to the town meeting disruptors.

  11. TedKennedysSwimInstructor said on 9 Sep 2009 at 7:41 pm:
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    I can only imagine Obama at Coast Guard boot camp calling his momma after the second day because he couldn’t inflate his penis preserver during midnight bathtub drowning drills.

  12. Karla H said on 9 Sep 2009 at 9:21 pm:
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    Ever see the movie THX 1138? The spending must stop somewhere, no matter who is doing the paying.

    The issue here is that if you relinquish responsibility to the government, then you also relinquish authority. In this case the government was given the authority to make the call on a child’s life based on a cost versus return-on-investment basis. Had the health care system been completely capitalist, then the doctor would have said to the woman, “To save this child we require a $10,000 down payment, with additional charges likely. Would you like to give us your credit card?”

    This is why I find it a little difficult to say this is “disgusting”. The woman may have had to make the same decision in the capitalist system. She may have had to save the resources (i.e. money) to support her other children.

    This is an ugly situation either way, but I would rather be the decision maker over my own, and my children’s destiny.

  13. Greg L said on 9 Sep 2009 at 9:39 pm:
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    No doctor in the United States could let a child waste away and die over a two hour period with no medical intervention whatsoever. When American doctors treat a homeless crack-head who got into a shootout with police within their E.R. with no questions asked, they would most certainly try to save the life of a premature baby, and deal with the financial discussion after the child was stabilized.

    One thing I am very proud of in our healthcare system is that doctors first worry about saving lives, and only after that start asking questions about compensation. It’s the right focus, and absolutely the right moral call.

  14. NoVA Scout said on 9 Sep 2009 at 9:53 pm:
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    It’s a good thing that this story (whether accurate or not) has no relevance to health care issues now being discussed in the United States. I agree with Greg. This doesn’t happen here. We save lives as best we can.

  15. Groveton said on 9 Sep 2009 at 10:14 pm:
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    What’s the difference between what happened to Jayden Capewell and the partial birth abortions that liberals seem to think so reasonable?

    About 120 minutes.

  16. No1UKnow said on 10 Sep 2009 at 6:48 am:
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    Amen Groveton.

    I can’t see how anyone can justify this decision. Yes, the child was premature, but really, this was a wanted child, not a child who would be born and neglected by uncaring parents.

    Take some of the tax money reserved for abortions and use it for those people who actually want to birth a child but have complications. It’s the mother’s right to choose, right? So if she chooses to have the child, give her some money too. Why should only those who choose to end a life receive money for a death: what about those women who want a child? In their right to choose, shouldnt’ they get some money to choose assistance with a difficult pregnancy or IVF if needed?

    Apparently, the right to choose only applies if you agree with pro-choicers.

  17. Not llana Kaplan-Shain said on 10 Sep 2009 at 6:55 am:
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    “No doctor in the United States could let a child waste away and die over a two hour period with no medical intervention whatsoever. ”

    While I am ususally 99.99% in agreement with you Greg, I can think of one: Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. He has made some very, very cold statements regarding how we should ration, I mean “manage” healthcare. Part of his beliefs is that families of very ill, young or old people shouldn’t be making healthcare decisions for their ailling family-members, becuase they are emotionally attached to the sick. Two things make this very scary:

    #1 He’s an oncologist

    #2 He’s on Obama’s staff and is advising him on “Healthcare Reform”.

    And yes, I disagree with Obama on just about every one of his positions, the same way I would oppose any communist.

  18. Concerned said on 10 Sep 2009 at 9:01 am:
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    I’m constantly amazed at how libs and Obamatrons keep trying to tell us that up is down and day is night even when we are looking directly at the evidence for ourselves, and then say we are spouting “mis-information” when we dare to disagree with them. Note Anonymous’ post replying to the information I provided on the Nuffield Council. My original post provides a direct quote and a link to the Nuffield Council web site so everyone can read the material for themselves.

    Anyone who has ever served on a board or in an organization with a membership sub-committee (I have on numerous occasions) is aware that the purpose of such a sub-committee is to ensure that only those whose views are deemed acceptable in the context of the organization’s goals are admitted to the club. The sub-committee here is chaired by a former, yes former, head of the National Health Service. Would he have received this position if he were not fully on board with the Service’s agenda and goals?

    Anonymous described the Nuffield Council as, “a private organization similar to our AMA.” However, their web site describing the people they seek as members states, “We would particularly welcome expressions of interest from physicians, scientists, teachers, lawyers, people with experience of media relations and health management, and those with a background in philosophy and ethics. Expressions of interest are also welcomed from people with other skills and experience relevant to the Council.” The AMA is controlled by physicians. Teachers, lawyers, philosophers, media relations people, those with miscellaneous skills and experience, playing a key role in deciding who lives and who dies? Not for me.

    The Nuffield Council is essentially a front to provide some measure of credibility for the National Health Service’s policies. Please don’t insult our intelligence by trying to argue that it has any degree of independence from National Health Service.

    Yes, doctors in this case made the decision to allow the baby to die. However, that decision was directed by policies created by the Nuffield Council. How long do think a doctor (who in Britain is essentially a government employee) would keep their job if they did not abide by these policies?

    Roll the clock forward a few years into the future and assume Obama has gotten what he wants for health care. We now have a “council” similar to the Nuffield Council run by an Obama “czar.” They seek as members a diverse group of people as does the Nuffield Council, but not diverse in terms of their philosophy. Imagine someone like Bob Marshall applying to be a member to provide some balance in the philosophies represented in the group. After a great a deal of guffawing the membership sub-committee would quickly consign his application to the shredder.

    Imagine further that Medicare funding has been slashed (that’s in the bill Obama supports – read it for yourself) and thus medical services for our parents and grandparents, and us as we approach retirement are sharply curtailed. Decisions must be made so this “independent” organization establishes policies as to who gets medical care and who doesn’t. Always remember that members of this organization making life and death decisions for us and our families are first vetted through a sub-committee chaired by someone who is in full agreement with and strongly supports the Obama policies.

    This is not what I want America to become!

  19. Karla H said on 10 Sep 2009 at 10:27 am:
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    “No doctor in the United States could let a child waste away and die over a two hour period with no medical intervention whatsoever.”

    I hear ya, Greg. Given your criteria “two hour period with no medical intervention”, then yes… I too must admit this is disgusting.

    A doctor’s moral duty is to “do no harm”. And even in my scenario (with the woman being required to provide her credit card in a totally capitalist system), the doctor is STILL required by training and his own morality to do something in an attempt to save the baby’s life.

    The British doctor did not uphold his fiduciary duty. This is disgusting.

  20. 121212 said on 16 Sep 2009 at 4:18 pm:
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    ‘ “Whatever Obama is for, I’m against.” we get it.’ - Obama is for giving the rich (bankers) whatever they want. (He and congress, gave them 12 TRILLION DOLLARS, or have you forgotten?
    How much have bankers given You?
    You don’t have to pay slaves to police each other. ‘Good Slaves Police Themselves’.

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