Monday, July 30, 2012

The Lie That Won't Die

One would think that the "Lie of the Year" of 2009 as judged by PolitiFact wouldn't continue to resurface, but it has repeatedly.  The lie was, as you may remember, that Death Panels would convene under health care reform that would allow the government to judge who would live and die based on their value to society.  People had some fun mocking the outrageous lie, but the scary part is that a fair number of people believed it and continue to believe some version.  It recently resurfaced in criticisms of the proposed Independent Pay Advisory Board in the Affordable Health Care Act.  The IPAB is prohibited by law from rationing, yet Palin and others state that it's the slippery slope toward euthanasia.  Please read the background commentary of Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN published in JAMA.

All of us need to be aware of the repeated attempts to blow up meaningful health care reform using misinformation.  If  a lie is repeated often enough, it often takes on a life of its own.  So, if you want an easy way to better inform yourself, consider listening to Coursera lectures by Ezekiel Emmanuel from the University of Pennsylvania.   


  1. Access to health care varies across countries, groups and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies in place. Countries and jurisdictions have different policies and plans in relation to the personal and population based health care goals within their societies. Thanks.

  2. You are certainly correct. The best overview of the various global health care systems I've read is a book by TR Reid called "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care" - available in libraries, book stores or on-line sellers.