Elderly people in the United Kingdom and potentially worldwide are likely to be treated as “second-class citizens” and even denied life-saving medical treatment under proposed “highly unethical” United Nations “death targets,” healthcare and aging experts declared in an open letter last week. The radical UN “Sustainable Development Goals,” which would put virtually every realm of human activity in the crosshairs, include, among other controversial provisions, proposed global “targets” for reducing premature deaths from various causes. To meet those targets, the experts said, government-run healthcare systems such as the U.K. “National Health Service” (NHS) are likely to focus more resources on easier-to-save younger people — at the expense of the elderly whose deaths would not be counted as “premature.” Some critics are even saying the plan heralds the advent of “death panels.”
Officially dubbed the UN “Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals,” the plot being pushed by the UN and its member regimes represents a brazen attack on liberty, self-government, markets, national sovereignty, and more — all under the guise of “solving” all of the world’s real and imagined problems. The death targets are merely one tiny component that includes everything from “education” and values to food and health. The specific “Sustainable Development Goals,” set to replace the “Millennium Development Goals” established in 2000, are still being hammered out by UN bureaucrats and UN member regimes. Everything from “ending poverty” and “ending hunger” to “achieving gender equality” and “reducing income equality within and between countries” over 15 years is on the agenda. Imagine the coercive powers and the massive amount of resources required to even attempt such scheming.
Now, at least one component of the agenda — the age discrimination in healthcare — is coming under heavy criticism in the United Kingdom. In the open letter published by the prominent medical journal The Lancet and widely reported in the British press, the international coalition of experts lambasted the sought-after UN goal and demanded that it be scrapped or revised. Blasting the ideas as “agist” — discrimination against individuals based on their age — the signatories argued that the concept of “premature mortality” has the potential to “undermine the cherished, fundamental principle of health as a universal right for all.” The letter specifically criticizes a previous article on the subject that it says is based on “ethical principles” that “are deeply troubling” — namely, “that people aged 70 years and above do not matter.”
The signatories also argue that agist discrimination is already strong in areas such as cancer treatment even in high-income countries, and the situation is worse still in poorer nations. In the U.K., as The New American and many other sources have been documenting for years, the government-run healthcare monopoly known as NHS is already infamous for killing off the elderly and denying necessary care to patients. Last year, the U.K. Royal College of Surgeons, stating what was already well known, declared that elderly patients were being denied crucial treatment and operations due to such discrimination, according to British media reports. A few years before that, a British doctor warned that the socialist-style NHS was euthanizing as many as 130,000 patients each year through a controversial end-of-life “care” method called the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).
According to the letter in The Lancet, even if it is not the intent of those promoting the premature death targets, the inclusion of such goals in the UN “Sustainable Development Goals,” set to be adopted in September, “will inevitably reinforce the ageist bias that pervades many aspects of health-care decision making.” “A chronologically exclusive premature mortality target sends out a strong signal that years lived beyond a given age, such as 60 years or 70 years, are intrinsically less valuable than those of a younger person,” the letter states. “This misconception builds on a flawed tradition in health-care priority setting, which includes an explicit bias against older people (as opposed to people of so-called economically and socially productive ages).”
The experts on aging who signed the letter — associated with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University, the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, and HelpAge — were led by Peter Lloyd-Sherlock. Speaking to the U.K. Telegraph, the professor of social policy and international development at the University of East Anglia said: “This premature mortality target is highly unethical, since it unjustifiably discriminates against older people.” He also noted that there is already age discrimination in cancer care and surgery, but that the UN targets would give the agism the “stamp of approval.” However, the targets are “not quite set in stone yet, so we have a final opportunity to impress upon the UN the need to alter this explicitly ageist health target.” If that does not happen, he warned ominously, “people aged 70 and over will become second-class citizens as far as health policy is concerned.”
Lost amid the whole debate over the UN death targets and agism in healthcare, though, are several crucial overarching questions that must be addressed and are more important even than the discrimination debate. First of all, why is the UN — widely and properly ridiculed as the “dictators club” for its autocratic membership roster — setting “targets” and making 15-year “agendas” that will influence or even dictate national policy to begin with? Are the British and their elected representatives incapable of governing themselves without UN “targets” to guide their decisions? As the British struggle to free themselves from the European Union super-state, why is it accepted as inevitable that the UN’s “Sustainable Development Goals” will guide U.K. policy on healthcare or anything else? Allowing Third World dictators to tell the once proud British people how to run their affairs should be seen as a disgrace — and it should be firmly rejected.
Second of all, why is the government involved in healthcare to begin with? Are citizens incapable of making their own medical decisions and looking after their own health without the nanny state? Considering the atrocious track record of the socialist-style NHS regime, it is way past time for the United Kingdom to abolish socialized medicine and allow the free market to work its magic. Allowing government to ration and control medical care — whether based on UN death targets or the whims of homegrown politicians and bureaucrats — has been shown conclusively to be a disaster, not to mention immoral. From euthanizing the elderly and urging them to sign “do not resuscitate” directives, to being consistently unable to meet the needs of patients, it is time for the NHS and similar socialized medicine regimes to be tossed on the ash heap of failed ideas with devastating and deadly consequences.
Finally, with the ongoing disaster that is the deeply unpopular “ObamaCare,” are Americans traveling down the same dark road as the British? Absolutely. As the outlandish and impossibly expensive “Affordable Care” system implodes in on itself, and costs continue to spiral out of control thanks to government intervention, calls are growing for a full-blown socialized system to take its place. Even without a so-called “single payer system,” though, ObamaCare represents a de facto nationalization of healthcare in America. And with the tacit support from the GOP majority in Congress, which continues to fund ObamaCare despite deceitful promises to voters and harsh rhetoric, Americans can look forward to a nightmarish healthcare future of rationing, discrimination against the elderly, no more privacy, and more — at least if nothing changes.
To solve many of the most urgent healthcare problems would be relatively simple — dismantle socialized medical systems, withdraw from the UN, and return to the eternal principles of liberty, responsibility, and national independence. However, for that to happen, the British and American publics must get educated, organized, and active, all in the face of a massive propaganda campaign by the UN. The alternative to stopping it — UN death targets, death panels, government rationing, “sustainable” tyranny, and more — must be crushed for the benefit of all.