EDITORIAL: Be Aware and Beware of What You Demand – A Case Against State-Backed Euthanasia

Evening Report 4 October 2016
Family First Comment: This is a fascinating read by an investigative reporter….
“In my editorial titled: Be Aware and Beware of What You Demand – A Case Against State-Backed Euthanasia, I reflect back to the mid-1990s to an investigation I wrote that exposed how the government was to enforce exclusion criteria designed to prevent people from accessing life-saving but expensive treatments. If you were blind, intellectually disabled, had a history of mental illness, anti-social behaviour, a criminal conviction – you would be excluded from having renal dialysis. The experience of reporting this confirmed my resolve against state-backed-euthanasia. Here’s why… “ www.protect.org.nz

In my editorial titled: Be Aware and Beware of What You Demand – A Case Against State-Backed Euthanasia, I reflect back to the mid-1990s to an investigation I wrote that exposed how the government was to enforce exclusion criteria designed to prevent people from accessing life-saving but expensive treatments. If you were blind, intellectually disabled, had a history of mental illness, anti-social behaviour, a criminal conviction – you would be excluded from having renal dialysis. The experience of reporting this confirmed my resolve against state-backed-euthanasia. Here’s why…

Back in the mid 1990s Jenny Shipley (then Minister of Health in the Bolger National Government) established a governmental body called the Core Health Services Committee (CHSC) which was chaired by former broadcaster Sharon Crosbie.

The CHSC was known to exist, but no one paid much attention to it, and also getting information out of it was problematic as it would cite commercial confidentiality as a reason for withholding information. So a lot of its work went under the radar.

Back then, National had created a commercial model that replaced health boards with Regional Funding Authorities (RHAs) and hospitals became Crown Health Enterprises. It wasn’t until 2000, that the new Helen Clark-led Labour-Alliance Government disestablished the RHAs and CHEs and reestablished publicly elected health boards, and, hospitals became public hospitals once again.

But back in the early to mid-1990s the Core Health Services Committee was accountable directly to the Minister of Health, Jenny Shipley, and was tasked with creating health funding frameworks, protocols, criteria that the then RHAs would rely upon when deciding what health services the government would pay Crown Health Enterprises (CHEs) for – when providing health ‘services’ to ‘clients’ (patients).The Core Health Services Committee was tasked to evaluate a way of reducing the cost-burden on the Government for health services and come up with a set of criteria that CHEs and doctors would have to abide by when deciding which ‘clients’ (patients) would get treatment and, importantly, who would not.

In August 1994, I became aware that the Core Health Services Committee had been evaluating the most costly procedures, including renal dialysis treatment for people with end-stage renal failure. I was told by sources that the CHSC had drafted a document that included a framework for how expensive treatments would be handled, and that the Minister of Health had approved the plan.

Generally, there are two types of criteria:

inclusion – (meaning patients that met certain criteria would be eligible for treatment)

exclusion – (meaning those that could be labeled as possessing or exhibiting specific criteria would exclude then from being offered treatment.
READ MORE: https://eveningreport.nz/2016/10/04/editorial-be-aware-and-beware-of-what-you-demand-a-case-against-state-backed-euthanasia/

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