Italian MEP: Are Bank Bailouts Being Paid with Citizens' Lives?
September 26, 2009 (LPAC)—Member of the European Parliament Cristiana Muscardini, deputy chairman of the Trade Commission in the European Parliament, has filed an interrogation with the EU Commission on the issue of national health cuts in the EU as a result of bank bailouts. Here is the text.
"As a consequence of bank bailouts, many European countries face the problem of budget balancing. National health systems are one of the first programs to be reviewed. In this context, the danger is that health cuts lead to rationing, affecting weaker layers such as elderly persons who need costly treatments. Someone is exposing the creeping danger of euthanasia. In Great Britain, a sensational report has been published in the Daily Telegraph of Sept. 3, according to which 16.5% of all deaths in the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2008 were caused by involuntary euthanasia. The report comes from prominent circles: a group of experts from the prestigious Barts and the London School of Medicine, who expose a procedure within the British National Health System (NHS) called Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), which induces 'terminally ill patients to prematurely die,' as the Telegraph writes. The LCP was recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) in 2004, and allows doctors to deny hydration and nutrition, and medical treatment to patients, once established that they are close to death. However, 'to forecast death is not an exact science,' as the experts remark. The British health system has long adopted a system of calculating the 'quality-adjusted life years' called QALY, to decide when to implement costly treatment for patients. President Obama's health reform is inspired by this approach and that is the reason why it has provoked a broad popular opposition. Is the Commission
"1. Able to confirm these reports?
"2. Considering whether it is opportune to entrust independent experts committees, without parliamentary control, with the determination of standards for medical treatments or, even, to decide without family consent when treatment must be interrupted?
"3. Sharing the view expressed by many, according to which the too frequent decision to not treat patients seems to also be prompted by the fact that it allows cost reductions?
"4. Not believing that the astronomic expenses for bank bailouts, with the examples above, are being paid with citizens' lives?"