“It is a huge supposition to think they do not feel hunger or thirst.”

So says Dr Laura de Rooy, a consultant neonatologist at St George’s Hospital NHS Trust in London writing in response to an article published in the British Medical Journal of the placement of disabled infants on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).

The LCP was developed to help push those clinging for life off the cliff, so to speak. The elderly and terminally ill. It defines the “care” for patients no longer deemed fit for life in the much-vaunted free NHS. Free for those healthy enough to survive it, maybe. But I digress.

Severely disabled infants have been placed on the LCP. Starving a baby to death. Brings new meaning to the term “care protocol,” no? More:

Earlier this month, an un-named doctor wrote of the agony of watching the protracted deaths of babies. The doctor described one case of a baby born with ‘a lengthy list of unexpected congenital anomalies’, whose parents agreed to put it on the pathway.

The doctor wrote: ‘They wish for their child to die quickly once the feeding and fluids are stopped. They wish for pneumonia. They wish for no suffering. They wish for no visible changes to their precious baby.

‘Their wishes, however, are not consistent with my experience. Survival is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death was ten days.

‘Parents and care teams are unprepared for the sometimes severe changes that they will witness in the child’s physical appearance as severe dehydration ensues.

‘I know, as they cannot, the unique horror of witnessing a child become smaller and shrunken, as the only route out of a life that has become excruciating to the patient or to the parents who love their baby.’

According to the BMJ article, the doctor involved had presided over ten such deaths in just one hospital neonatal unit.

One British nurse has the guts to call the practice what it is:

Bernadette Lloyd, a hospice paediatric nurse, has written to the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health to criticise the use of death pathways for children.She said: ‘The parents feel coerced, at a very traumatic time, into agreeing that this is correct for their child whom they are told by doctors has only has a few days to live. It is very difficult to predict death. I have seen a “reasonable” number of children recover after being taken off the pathway.

‘I have also seen children die in terrible thirst because fluids are withdrawn from them until they die.

‘I witnessed a 14 year-old boy with cancer die with his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth when doctors refused to give him liquids by tube. His death was agonising for him, and for us nurses to watch. This is euthanasia by the backdoor.’

And this is the system we rush to emulate because it’s far more compassionate? Read the rest.

Oh, wait, a parting thought from the doctor:

Some say withdrawing medically provided hydration and nutrition is akin to withdrawing any other form of life support. Maybe, but that is not how it feels. The one thing that helps me a little is the realisation that this process is necessarily difficult. It needs to be.

To acknowledge that a child’s prospects are so dire, so limited, that we will not or cannot provide artificial nutrition is self selecting for the rarity of the situations in which parents and care teams would ever consider it.

Loving a child on the fringe  will no longer be an option in an IPAB world (H/t: Pundette). The choice to love a baby whose life will be deemed too costly for living won’t be ours alone to make. The Peter Singers of the world will reign.

Scary thought, isn’t it?

Back to cleaning and cooking for me, avoiding the news and politics and all. This real-world stuff is for the birds.

“It is not our job to protect the people from the consequence of their political choices.”

So argues Chief Justice John Roberts in his majority opinion. So, the joke’s on us, is that it? I’m having a hard time deciding if Roberts intended this to be the equivalent of Obama’s snide “above my paygrade” retort.

Other bits and pieces as my due date flies by and the thermometer climbs above 100. (Note to self: future pjBabies must be born in winter. Lots of snow preferable. Will deal with the loss of ski season.)

Via Hot Air:

What say you? Will Obama survive the largest tax increase in history during the middle of a recession?

I’m leaning toward not.

Pyrric victory and all. Oremus.

A little Mark Levin for your listening enjoyment here.

I’m intrigued more than anything about the possibility that Roberts changed his mind. The dissents written by Scalia and Thomas lefthints.

“My job is to take into account everybody, not just some.”

So argued Obama while shamelessly drawing comparisons between himself and Romney during a commencement speech in Joplin. Never let a crisis go to waste. Or a speech, apparently.

But this idea of “I govern everyone” isn’t how liberals govern, and especially not Obama. He surely isn’t the president of Catholics, of supporters of traditional marriage, of Gulf state oil workers sitting idly at home because of specific action taken by the Obama administration.

At least the Catholics aren’t taking this lightly. Alleluia.

Obamacare mandate forces first Catholic college to drop insurance coverage

What happened to “if you like your coverage you can keep it,” eh? Oh, the ramifications. Gotta pass that bill to know what’s in it.

Steven Ertelt has the skinny:

Franciscan University appears to be the first casualty of the new Obama HHS mandate that requires Catholic colleges, groups and businesses to pay for drugs that may cause abortions and birth control for their employees.

Although President Barack Obama declared “If you like your health care coverage you can keep it,” when it came to passing Obamacare, a Catholic college in Ohio has determined it will no longer offer a student health insurance plan.

“The Obama Administration has mandated that all health insurance plans must cover “women’s health services” including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing medications as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),” the university says in a new post on its website. “Up to this time, Franciscan University has specifically excluded these services and products from its student health insurance policy, and we will not participate in a plan that requires us to violate the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacredness of human life.”

Thank God there are institutions willing to stand up to this administration. Praying more will follow.

UPDATE: via the Examiner, for those who worry the students won’t have access to care:

The school notes on its website that even if it had kept its insurance policy available to students, Obamacare’s other requirements would have caused students’ premiums to double. The school will continue to provide cheap basic medical care for students at the low cost of $5 per visit, but they are on their own for more expensive treatments.

Reproductive justice, indeed.

Heh. Via The Lonely Conservative.

Need I remind you, the future belongs to the fruitful.

UPDATE: linked at Theo Spark. Thanks, Chris! AND at Temple of MUT! Merci!

Cartoon of the day

Cartoon: I Can’t Believe You Taught Constitutional Law

Just add the whole row of conservative Supremes to the list.

H/t: M.

“The greater good”

That’s how Bruce McQuain describes the tendency of liberals to excuse any and all behavior if it’s in pursuit of “the greater good.”

Case in point: Darragh McManus praises the blood on Che Guevara’s hands. He writes [emphasis mine]:

Yes, Che was ruthless and fanatical and sometimes murderous. But was he a murderer? No, not in the sense of a serial killer or gangland assassin. He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things.

Whether morally justifiable or not, there is something admirable in that — pure principle in a world of shabby compromise. Maybe this is why Che remains such an icon, both in image and idea.

Yes, Che is an icon, even though he was a murderous thug. He wasn’t concerned by those trifling things like, oh, morals, because he had a vision. So did Charlie Manson, but I digress.

Obama, too, is one of those “rare” people who is prepared to push boundaries by thuggery and abuse of power. Attempting to intimidate the Supreme Court counts as thuggery. It’s the Chicago way. Bryan Preston writes:

President Barack Obama used his press time today to launch a frontal assault on the judicial branch of the US government. Speaking to press in the Rose Garden, the president said “Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

That “strong majority” came entirely from the Democratic Party, which was defeated in the 2010 mid-terms over dissatisfaction with the ObamaCare law. The majority of American voters did not support ObamaCare’s passage and still want the law repealed. So, the president’s call amounts to an appeal to keep an unpopular law intact just because his party passed it and he signed it.

That “strong majority” consisted of fewer than a dozen votes out of over 400. Overwhelming strength, no? Obama appealed the SCOTUS to consider the “human element.” Dear Mr. Former Constitutional Law Professor (what a joke!): there is no “human element” in deciding whether or not the law is Constitutional. But that’s what “the greater good” is all about, isn’t it?

Why such a thin skin, Ben Nelson?

Oooh, they’re getting testy after a bad week at the SCOTUS:

Scalia also joked that the task of having to review the complex bill violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

“You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” he quipped. “Is this not totally unrealistic, that we are going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?”

The comments did not sit well with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a member of the Gang of 14, which in 2005 established guidelines for considering judicial nominees.

“I am concerned that Justice Scalia’s comments call into question his impartiality and instead suggest judicial activism,” Nelson said.

Nelson was taken aback by Scalia’s suggestion that reading the law was too much to expect of justices ruling on its constitutionality.

Want to talk impartiality, eh? Let’s do. How about that new Justice who should have recused herself because she wrote the arguments to defend Obamacare as the last Solicitor General.  Just sayin’.

What seems to have Nelson’s knickers in a twist is the mention of the “Cornhusker Kickback.”

Traitors take so much abuse, poor things.

And get this:

Democrats are not inclined to give Scalia any slack because they think his mind is closed against the healthcare law and his judgment clouded by partisan politics

Seriously. As if Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan or Ginsberg aren’t “closed” in favor of Obamacare (with the latter even assisting the SG in his weak arguments) or their judgement clouded by partisan politics.

I guess it isn’t partisan if it’s the side you’re on, eh?

H/t: HA headlines

“It won’t cause the government to have a complete cardiac arrest”

So says Tom Golstein in regards to the government’s “bad day” at the SCOTUS. Please someone, issue a DNR; that’s our best hope for salvaging the country and eliminating debt. More:

“‘The government had in my view as bad a day as it reasonably could have,’ said Tom Goldstein, founder of SCOTUSblog and a regular litigator at the high court. ‘It won’t cause the government to have a complete cardiac arrest — they’ll just be nauseous for months. … The only people coming out of that building optimistic today were the plaintiffs.’…

What, pray tell, could cause such a bad case of heartburn for the federal government? Oh, Justice Anthony Kennedy eviscerating the Solicitor General Donald Verilli in charge of presenting the government’s case as to why Obamacare should survive. But I’m getting ahead of myself. More from Politico:

“In the orgy of panel discussions, interviews and feature articles previewing this week’s arguments, law professors, Supreme Court litigators and journalists confidently predicted that the justices would uphold the individual mandate as a logical extension of the federal government’s well-established ability to regulate the health insurance market…

“Within the first few minutes of Tuesday’s arguments, that bravado seemed to go out the window.

Chief Justice John Roberts brought up the cellphone mandate: if the government can force you to buy health insurance because it’s “good for you,” then what else can you be forced to purchase that’s also “good for you.” Vegetables in every cart? A cellphone for emergencies?

“I thought that was an important part of your argument,” Roberts told Verrilli. “That when you need health care, the government will make sure you get it. Well, when you need police assistance or fire assistance or ambulance assistance, the government is going to make sure to the best extent it can that you get it — get it.”

But Roberts asked whether the same assurance that the government will provide emergency services could lead to a requirement that everyone buy a cellphone to help facilitate communication in an emergency.

Where does it stop? Gym memberships? Newer, safer Government Motors vehicles?

It doesn’t.

Verelli caused much angst and anguish on the left for his “trainwreck” performance. Brian Bolduc at NRO writes:

CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called the arguments “a train wreck for the Obama administration.” “This law looks like it’s going to be struck down,” Toobin said. “I’m telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong.”

Jamie Dupree, reporter for Cox Radio, tweeted, “One thing was clear, the Solicitor General [Donald B. Verrilli Jr.] (arguing for the Obama Administration) had a bad day in court.” Justice Kennedy asked him the seemingly skeptical question, “Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?”

“Essentially, the Solicitor General’s performance was so abysmal that it fell to the [Democratic] appointees to make his argument for him,” says Adam Serwer, reporter for Mother Jones.

Of course they did. At one point Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg apparently interrupted Verelli to try to clarify his argument for him. Heh.

Scalia unleashed:

I shouldn’t get too excited. Ed Whelan makes a valid point:

I’m always leery of inferring much from oral argument. Now that I’ve listened to the audio and reviewed the transcript (both available here) of today’s argument, I don’t claim to have any meaningful read on which side has the advantage.

I will, though, repeat what I’ve been saying all along: Opponents of Obamacare will be making a terrible blunder if they count on the Supreme Court to deliver the death blow to Obamacare. We need to work to elect this November a Congress that will repeal and replace the monstrosity and a president who will sign that legislation

True enough.

H/t to Allahpundit here and here. He’s on fire. Read the rest of both and this one, where he confronts the notion that the SCOTUS striking down Obamacare could help Obama win reelection. (Perish the thought).

Why I still don’t believe anything that escapes ol’ Etch-a-Sketch’s lips

From yesterday’s USA Today, Mitt claims to have found the logic behind the full repeal of Obamacare [emphasis my own]:

Friday is the second anniversary of ObamaCare. It is past time to abolish the program, root and branch. The Supreme Court will soon have a crack at this; arguments about the program’s constitutionality open before it next week. But whatever the justices decide in what is certain to be a landmark decision, the case against ObamaCare extends far beyond questions about its constitutionality. President Obama’s program is an unfolding disaster for the American economy, a budget-busting entitlement, and a dramatic new federal intrusion into our lives.

It is precisely for those reasons that I’ve opposed a one-size-fits-all health care plan for the entire nation. What we need is a free market, federalist approach to making quality, affordable health insurance available to every American. Each state should be allowed to pursue its own solution in this regard, instead of being dictated to by Washington.

Even if that state pursues something decidedly against the free market as in your own Massachusetts plan?

Just askin’.

There’s a distinction between making quality, affordable insurance available to everyone, Mitt, and forcing everyone to purchase a state-approved plan. Ya know, like in Massachusetts.

Just sayin’.

And talk about spinning reality:

When I was governor of Massachusetts, we instituted a plan that got our citizens insured without raising taxes and without a government takeover. Other states will choose to go in different directions. It is the genius of federalism that it encourages experimentation, with each state pursuing what works best for them.

I’m sure it works best for Massachusetts residents who now pay the highest insurance premiums in the country. Smarter residents, much like those in blue-state heaven California, vote with their feet. Massachusetts loses a congressional seat this year. What are the odds that quality, affordable, state-mandated health coverage provided by a bustling free market has something to do with it?

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