Baby Joseph, Government Healthcare, and Death Panels

I found a blogger talking about some of the same issues we talk about here on MediBlog. Since it isn’t often that I find a Canadian willing to speak up about the hidden underworld of the Canadian system, I thought I’d share this.

Squeaky's views on Canadian Healthcare and the Waiting ListsWritten by “Squeaky” on TheSoapBoxers.com

Welcome to Canada! We have free healthcare for our citizens. We spare no expense to give them whatever surgery or care we deem necessary. That being said, if we don’t think the treatment is necessary we are not going to pay for it. Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? It sounds a lot like what we have been promised in the United States doesn’t?

Think back to 2010 and the US healthcare bill that was passed….the one that we had to pass to find out what was in it. There was talk of death panels; some secret panel that would be created which would decide whether or not the government would allow a procedure. There were a lot of people making fun of conservatives for thinking this was possible.

Well, over the last week, we’ve probably all heard about Baby Joseph. Baby Joseph is a 13 month old child to Moe Maraachli and Sara Nader of Windsor, Canada. Unfortunately, Baby Joseph is suffering from a serious neurological disorder. The Canadian hospital wants to take the baby off the ventilator which would lead to his death in minutes. The child’s parents want him to receive a tracheotomy which will extend his life by possibly as much as six months. They would then like to take him home where he can live out the remainder of his short life. A tracheotomy is a procedure in which a small incision is made on the front of the neck allowing a small air tube to be inserted.

Parents…none of us should have to bury our children. Unfortunately, we know it sometimes happens. This family is now faced with a struggle of unimaginable proportions. The baby has the ability to live longer if something simple like a tracheotomy is given to him. That would buy the family additional weeks if not months to spend time with their child yet the hospital is refusing the procedure.

My mom suffered a brain aneurysm 10 months ago. I was told in the emergency room that my mom was going to die. We had her life flighted to a specialty hospital in Denver and they saved her life. Today she is recovered and is doing wonderfully. The surgeon told me in the days following her surgery that these miralces won’t happen after the new healthcare system is implemented. He said that there WILL be red tape, reviews, more control over who receives what services. I really hope he’s wrong though because God, the medical staff and that hospital are the reasons that I can still hug my mom today. I hope that the future families are as blessed as we are.

Some readers may know who Brock Lesnar is. If you don’t he’s the former heavyweight Ultimate Fighting Champion and a fan favorite. In 2009 he became very ill and had extreme abdominal pain. He sought emergency help at a Canadian medical facility and when he felt as though he wasn’t getting any help he asked his wife to quickly drive him back to the United States for health care. He went to the Mayo Clinic and was found to have a severe case of diverticulitis. His intestine had perforated allowing feces to leak into his body. Today, Lesnar criticizes the Canadian healthcare system and has urged President Obama and the lawmakers to repeal the changes. He cites his experience as a key reason. He refers to the Canadian facility as providing 3rd world medical care and praises his wife for saving his life by taking him back to the US for treatment.

I know everyone reading this will have other examples that they’ve heard. Brock Lesnar, while a great athlete and a fit individual, is not without controversy. However, don’t let that take away from his message.

Baby Joseph though? How could any of us put ourselves in the shoes of his parents and criticize them for wanting to spend a little more time with their child? The Canadian hospital has gone so far as to take this matter to the Canadian court where Joseph’s parents were ordered by the Canadian government to allow removal of the life support so that their child would die. Is that what we’ve signed up for with government run healthcare?

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