Monday, May 17, 2010
* Dartmouth: Ivy-League Camouflage ?
Dr. Michael DeBakey,heart surgery pioneer, recovered from heart surgery himself at age 97 and died at 99 in 2008.
Letter to the Editor
The Valley News
A 35 million dollar anonymous gift to Dartmouth will allow the College to create a Center for Health Care Delivery Science " for health care education and research."
Although Dartmouth's announcement didn't say so, one of the great missions of the "health care education and research" which it will conduct will be to gently break it to us Baby Boomers (of which I am a rapidly graying, wrinkling member ) that U.S. medical resources are disproportionately allocated to the aged in the final stages of life.
This ethical problem of who gets what medical resources is not new. It is one which I studied in a course called "Religious Ethics and Modern Moral Issues" when I took the terminal theology degree at Yale in 1980.
The yet-to-be hired-Dartmouth researchers in 2010 already know that U.S. medical resources are disproportionately allocated to the aged in the final stages of life.
Everybody knows it.
So why spend 35 million dollars to enshrine in the Ivy League a research center which will once again arrive at this well known conclusion?
Because what they intend to do is to sugar coat this knowledge, dress it in respectable academic robes, or camouflage it like a panther, not with spots but with data, data so compelling and confusing, that the public will swallow it hook, line, and dollar sign.
And what will the result be?
A handsomely printed and digitally published report under the impressive Dartmouth seal concluding ( surprise! ) that we must reallocate the resources to the young, or go broke.
Am I suggesting that the future Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science is positioned to be used as a political tool of a utilitarian government?
Not on your life.
Paul D. Keane