Wednesday, December 31, 2008

UK: How WWII Heroes Die (Outrage Alert)

As an officer leading his men in Italy during WWII, John Platt received the Distinguished Service Order for bravery.

As a 101-year old retiree under Britain's National Health Service, Brigadier Platt was dying in the hospital after losing the ability to swallow food. His hearing aid was crushed by a clumsy worker, his false teeth were lost, and his soiled clothing lay stinking and unwashed in a nearby closet. Unhappy with this level of care, Brigadier Platt asked to go back to his nursing home. Rather than being transported in an ambulance, the dying Platt was bundled into a taxicab wearing another man's pajamas and a too-small pair of incontinence pants. He died a few days later.

A war hero shouldn't have to accept such an end.

Socialized medicine, folks. What you can expect from the Obama administration. As I've said before, watch what goes on in UK; what you see in UK today is what you can expect here in the US if the Democrats are given free rein.


al fin said...

Once one makes the decision to grow old and follows through on the decision, the number of good ways to die tends to shrink rapidly.

Growing old is a process of accelerated loss. You lose hair, strength, endurance, hearing, taste, smell, teeth, balance, family and friends, ability to work, mental focus, and end up at the mercy of people who find you an inconvenience at best, or a symbol of colonial oppression at worst.

The man in the story was lucky. An unlucky person might have been tortured for an extended period before dying.

Nobody prepares for this sort of thing. Leaving things to chance can result in a great deal of unpleasantness.

Xavier said...

al fin speaks truth.

Hospitals and health care are structured around healing, not around dying. When a person is dying, and there is no way to prevent it, the hospital is not the appropriate place to be.

This is why hospice was established. Sadly, many in this country equate hospice with death and even assisted suicide. This ignorance needs to end. We will all die.

After a man is dead, there is much gnashing of teeth over how he died, and how we could have prevented it. We should instead praise how he lived. While a 101 year old man is approaching death, western culture seeks to preserve his life as though he will never die. The old gent you write about should likely never have been taken from the community he knew in the nursing home. Even if he had no friends there, he had a comforting familiarity. Chances are though, he had friends.

Death remains the final taboo, as the recognition of the universal place of death in our lives makes us face our own mortality.

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Think of the nice people at the Drivers License Bureau when you think of Government controlled Health Care.