Sep
7

Douthanasia




Posted at 17:27 by Tintin
douthat_nutjob
ABOVE: Msgr. Ross Francis Pius Douthat,
S.J., O.P., O.F.M., S.S.J., Th.D+,


dou•tha•na•sia (yutha-na’zha) n. The act or practice of killing brain cells through the reading of anything written by Ross Douthat. v. -nize, -nized. [Greek douthanasia, death by douchebag : douche + thanatos, death.]

Ross Douthat, apparently having been told by his editors that he couldn’t write every column about abortion, has decided to add another Catholic bogeyman to his repertoire of obsessions. Today Ross takes on euthanasia which, of course, isn’t much different in his mind from abortion except that no womb is involved.

[Y]ou don’t have to share Sarah Palin’s death panel fears to see perils lurking at the intersection of physician-assisted suicide and health care reform. … Consider the words of a prominent oncologist, bioethicist and health care wonk, critiquing assisted suicide in 1997, just before a Supreme Court ruling on the issue. “Once legalized,” this writer warned in the pages of The Atlantic, “euthanasia would become routine. Over time doctors would become comfortable giving injections to end life and Americans would become comfortable having euthanasia as an option.” From there, it would be an easy slide to euthanizing the incompetent.

Of course, it is completely understandable why Ross might have a somewhat personal concern about the fate of the incompetent. But why on earth isn’t Ross telling us who this prominent oncologist is? Does Ross have a trick up his sleeve here? You betcha.

[Those] words were actually written by Ezekiel Emanuel, a health-care advisor at the Office of Management and Budget, and the brother of Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff.

LOL!!!!! Liberals lose! Pwned!! Because Rahm Emanuel’s brother said that, liberals aren’t allowed to take any other position on euthanasia ever but must immediately prostrate themselves before the high altar of Ross and confess that the slippery slope is real. Well, actually, there is one slippery slope that is real, and it’s the poop-smeared chute that Douthat’s column is riding down into an enormous sinkhole filled with horse shit.

Our move toward physician-assisted suicide springs from the same quest for mastery over mortality that leads us to spend nearly twice as much on health care as any other developed nation. It sounds paradoxical to link the desire for unlimited medical treatment to the desire for physician-assisted suicide. But the idea that there’s a right to the most expensive health care while you want to be alive isn’t all that different, in a sense, from the idea that there’s a right to swiftly die once life doesn’t seem worth living.

Yes, Douthat did just say that a good reason for allowing uninsured people to die from untreated medical conditions is so that other people won’t die from physician-assisted suicide. Anyone who thought that Douthat couldn’t possibly be worse than Bill Kristol may apologize profusely now.

54 Comments »

  1. mark f said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:29

    liberals . . . must immediately prostate themselves . . . and confess that the slippery slope is real.

    I prostate myself to slippery slopes as often as possible.

    [Tintin adds: I'm throwing you ungrateful bastards red meat on Labor Day and you get snarky over a typo?]

  2. Nom de Plume said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:38

    Yeah, I was gonna point out that little misspelling myself. TinTin, even when you don’t explicitly use the toilet/bathroom theme, you find a way of, um, slipping it in.

  3. J Neo Marvin said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:39

    A perfect depiction of the conservative mentality. Supposedly, the liberals are pwned because the brother of Obama’s chief of staff (who a great many of us happen to detest and blame for the president’s rightward shift since taking office, but never mind that) said something that seems to jibe with all the drivel the right has been spewing lately. The only way this would matter is if we were craven, unquestioning followers of anyone we’re told is on “our side”, rather than intelligent adults capable of thinking for ourselves. Doubt-that is incapable of imagining such a thing, of course.

  4. noen said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:40

    Take care of your prostate and it’ll take care of you.

  5. Michael G. said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:40

    I’m sorry, I have to go chase my brain down and force it back in my skull after reading that.

    Okay, okay. So we want to master mortality. So we have an inefficient health care system. But how is killing yourself mastering mortality. Isn’t mastering mortality gaining immortality?

    Then there’s the second part. No one says we have a right to the most expensive health care. How can you think that. Are you eating paint chips (“wall candy”)? Put those down. We want effective health care. Now, as for a right to die, why do you think people don’t have a right to die? What will you do to them when they kill themselves? Resurrect them to put them in prison? Usually, the ultimate cudgel to beat people into accepting law is execution. When someone is willing to kill themselves, the power of the state to control their life is ended.

  6. John Leguizamo said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:43

    Anyone who thought that Douthat couldn’t possibly be worse than Bill Kristol may apologize profusely now.

    Still not as bad as Kristol.

  7. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:44

    I am the master of OT posts, but for an update, Studie is still in a holding pattern.

    If anyone else wants to post OT, you all can start the pool for when he will arrive (date and time, can add in length and weight if you want). I’ll find a really horrible prize for the winner.

    Due date is technically 9/14, if that helps your guessing…

  8. nolo said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:45

    But the idea that there’s a right to the most expensive health care while you want to be alive isn’t all that different, in a sense, from the idea that there’s a right to swiftly die once life doesn’t seem worth living.

    That makes no sense whatsoever.

  9. Substance McGravitas said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:48

    Due date is technically 9/14, if that helps your guessing…

    I’m shitty at guessing in Central European Time.

  10. noen said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:48

    “But the idea that there’s a right to the most expensive health care while you want to be alive…”

    Typical Royalist thinking. Us peasants don’t have the right to the world’s most expensive health care. We are lowly and don’t deserve the rich foods on our better’s plates. Out God given lot is to suffer with poor health care and to die in pain. It’s God’s will.

  11. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:49

    I’m shitty at guessing in Central European Time.

    Oooh, good point. Date and time will be all US Eastern Time, and stuff.

  12. The Kid from Kounty Meath said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:53

    So what punishment waits for the wingnut who deliberately sacrifices the Deathly Death Panels of Death talking point so he can rant about how it might not still be too late to put Terri’s tube back in?

  13. Substance McGravitas said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:55

    You don’t have to share Sarah Palin’s death panel fears to see perils lurking at the intersection of physician-assisted suicide and health care reform.

    There are fuckin’ perils lurking everywhere aren’t there? First at the intersection of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Health Care Reform, then at Gay Marriage Square, and don’t stray too long in Abortiontown.

  14. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:56

    Still not as bad as Kristol.

    Agreed. Kristol has that insufferable smirk.

  15. ozzieandharrietmandias said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:58

    From there, it would be an easy slide to euthanizing the incompetent and from there it would be an easy slide to euthanizing the competent and from there it would be an easy slide to euthanizers euthanizing each other and from there it would be an easy slide to the last euthanizer standing euthanizing himself and then all the remaining organisms would look up from their grazing or predating or absorbing of nutrients and say “Cool.” and go back to doing what they were doing ond the Earth would shrug its metaphorical shoulders and continue its plod around the Sun for a few billion more years until the Sun in a final spasm of unassisted suicide went supernova taking the earth with it and all this as an inevitable consequence of health reform so I’m against it.

  16. J— said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:59

    Like Douthat, we, too, can play quote Ezekiel Emanuel.

    Emanuel has at times voiced support for two other key elements of Obama’s vision: a public insurer to compete with and drive up the quality of private insurers and a National Insurance Exchange, a marketplace where public and private insurers compete.

    Here’s something a bit longer, more on the topic of Douthat’s column (emphases in original).

    The biggest of Emanuel’s big ideas relates to the “good death.” Emanuel is passionate in his belief that people should die according to their own wishes and without avoidable suffering. In articles such as “Death and Dignity: Dogma Disputed,” Emanuel articulates his views on the matter and calls on other researchers and doctors to define terms such as suffering and to find better ways to measure concepts such as dignity.

    Emanuel has spoken out forcefully against the legalization of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, but he does not always oppose the practices themselves; he believes they are sometimes the most or the only ethical options. What he opposes is their legalization. After surveying patients, doctors and the general public in 1996 and 1997, he concluded that far fewer cancer patients than previously believed actively wanted to die. He also concluded that depression, not pain, was most likely to cause patients to seek physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia—an argument for better mental health care for dying patients, not death made more accessible. In writing about legalized euthanasia in the Netherlands, he argues that legalization in the United States might be counterproductive: it might divert research, doctors, insurance reimbursements and reform away from improving pain management and mental health treatments.

    Emanuel’s most concrete contribution to the notion of a “good death” is the Medical Directive, a form that lets you record, in detail, the treatments you want in case you become unable to express your wishes. The form asks you to imagine, for example, that you’re in a coma or persistent vegetative state and then to say whether you’d want to: (1) prolong life, treat everything; (2) attempt to cure, but reevaluate often; (3) limit interventions to the less invasive and less burdensome; (4) provide comfort care only; or (5) other. From there, the form asks whether you’d want specific interventions—cardiopulmonary resuscitation, major surgery, mechanical breathing.

    All this strengthens Douthat’s point, of course, which is always ever that Church doctrine knows best.

  17. LittlePig said,

    September 7, 2009 at 17:59

    Well, that and Kristol was a key agitator for the murder of a hundred thousand people. While Douchehat has no doubt caused the deaths of tens of trillions of brain cells as people drink to forget his clap-trap, Kristol has the clear advantage on evil.

  18. J— said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:01

    Anyone who thought that Douthat couldn’t possibly be worse than Bill Kristol may apologize profusely now.

    Kristol was fun; Douthat is tedious.

  19. Uncertainty Vice Principal said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:02

    Our move toward physician-assisted suicide springs from the same quest for mastery over mortality that leads us to spend nearly twice as much on health care as any other developed nation.

    Gosh it’s good to be educamated by people like Ross Douthat, otherwise I had these crazy ideas that we spend twice as much because most of our money goes into the pockets of enormous insurance companies raking off trillions of dollars of it, most of which seems to go directly to giant salaries for CEOs.

    So, let’s see, that sort of changes everything, because even if we were to setup a more efficient system that pools taxes to provide health insurance, rather than all that raking off of trillions to private corporations, our “quest for mastery” would make us spend more anyway, because we would simply demand more health than other countries.

    One thing that puzzles me still though is that we’re actually less healthy than other developed countries. So, all that “quest for mastery”, er… we’re doin it wrong.

  20. ajaye said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:09

    My brain is now dead from reading the mere EXCERPTS of this column. Can someone PLEASE come and youth in asian eyes me now?

  21. CapMidnight said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:09

    There are fuckin’ perils lurking everywhere aren’t there?
    Now ya got me clutchin’ mah peril necklace.

  22. NutellaonToast said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:11

    Openly stupid is better than shamelessly deceitful, so I still say it’s a step up.

  23. Spirula said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:12

    So, just because you’re human doesn’t mean you are entitled to humane treatment when you’re sick? And just because you’re dying doesn’t mean you’re entilited to a humane death? Yup, sounds about right for Bible-God morality.

    Actually, what assholes like Douchehat are really afraid of is that while they are living a selfish, greedy, uncaring life, the rest of society may decide we just don’t need them around anymore. The only concern for human life is for themselves.

  24. tigrismus said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:15

    Ooh, the slippery slope! Why, I bet if this keeps up the next time a Mack truck is bearing down on him he’ll try to get out of the way instead of letting the inevitable happen!

  25. Substance McGravitas said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:21

    Ooh, the slippery slope!

    Once you slip down it, no going up! The banana peels keep getting in the way.

    Then the Keystone Kops show up.

  26. stryx said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:30

    I love OnlineConversion.com

    2455087.19586 (Julian)

    2.90 okka

  27. Major Kong said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:33

    It could be a typo.

    Maybe Ross Douthat is really into Youth in Asia.

  28. Sirius Lunacy said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:42

    I may be wrong, but I though Ross had fully supported sending our military “death panels” to Afghanistan and Iraq to kill youths in Asia.

  29. mmm...lemonheads said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:42

    “[Y]ou don’t have to share Sarah Palin’s death panel fears…”

    That’s a relief, ’cause Caribou Barbie tends to bogart those fears, and even when she shares she takes way more fear than her share.

  30. Dean Booth said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:43

    See his forthcoming about gay marriage: “Over time people would come to take gay marriage for granted and Americans would become comfortable having homosexuals as neighbors. From there, it would be an easy slide to buttsecks for the unwilling.”

  31. mark said,

    September 7, 2009 at 18:58

    Quote: Of course, it is completely understandable why Ross might have a somewhat personal concern about the fate of the incompetent.

    Best interjection EVER!

  32. Joe Max said,

    September 7, 2009 at 19:26

    From there, it would be an easy slide to buttsecks for the unwilling.

    Remember, lots of lube makes for an easy buttsecks slide.

  33. PGE said,

    September 7, 2009 at 19:33

    It would also be understandable if Ross showed a personal concern about the fate of the incontinent.

  34. jim said,

    September 7, 2009 at 20:13

    More like Doucheanasia, amirite?

    the idea that there’s a right to the most expensive health care while you want to be alive isn’t all that different, in a sense, from the idea that there’s a right to swiftly die once life doesn’t seem worth living

    Given that the former aims to maintain life & the latter aims to eliminate it, then if that “sense” is the “sense” of them being COMPLETE FUCKING OPPOSITES, then yeah, I can see your point. Oh, no, wait, actually I can’t – I forgot to smash my forehead in with a ball-peen hammer first. My bad.

    Comparing opposite things & pretending they’re somehow the same isn’t “paradoxical” … or “meta-” anything … or even “ironic” – it just means you suck at making comparisons.

    it would be an easy slide to euthanizing the incompetent

    You’ve already let your Inner Tard out to play far too often, Ross – that kind of sweet-talk will get you nowhere.

  35. tigrismus said,

    September 7, 2009 at 20:27

    Remember, lots of lube makes for an easy buttsecks slide.

    Slippery slopes: not all bad?

  36. sarah said,

    September 7, 2009 at 20:39

    nobody’s going to guess at the date and time for the studie debut? i’ll say thursday the 10th, at 2:45 PM EST.

    (my best to you, l.d.m.m.ph.d and gavin! congratulations!)

  37. Carleton Wu said,

    September 7, 2009 at 20:59

    Our move toward physician-assisted suicide springs from the same quest for mastery over mortality that leads us to spend nearly twice as much on health care as any other developed nation.

    Im still trying to wrap my mind around this one- so if we didn’t care about being immortal, we’d be like France, getting better healthcare for less money. Somehow, our immortal desires trip us up, and make us give too much money for not enough service. Oh, and we also screw up the whole immortality thing by eating bag after bag of Doritos and never exercising. And smoking. And not wearing seatbelts.

    I’ve heard that businesses in the NYCity area sometimes pay a lot for garbage collection- this probably comes from their unique quest for mastery over cleanliness.

  38. Substance McGravitas said,

    September 7, 2009 at 21:12

    i’ll say thursday the 10th, at 2:45 PM EST.

    Oh, um, June 6th, 6:66am in the year 6666.

  39. Horse Of Another Colour said,

    September 7, 2009 at 21:25

    Studie arrival prediction:

    Sunday, September 13, 2:35 am EST
    weight: 8lbs 11oz
    length: of labor?
    I’d say you start Saturday, September 12th, around 9:15 pm EST

  40. jim said,

    September 7, 2009 at 21:27

    (date and time, can add in length and weight if you want)

    Not being in the habit of either weighing newborns or stretching them out next to rulers, I’ll stick with d/t:

    September 19 @ 6 PM (same time of day I was born, but don’t hold that against the little creature plz).

    If the prize is placenta you can donate it to a DFH potluck … I’m on Doctor Nick’s Chocolate-Enriched No-Afterbirth Diet™.

  41. Horse Of Another Colour said,

    September 7, 2009 at 21:41

    One thing that puzzles me still though is that we’re actually less healthy than other developed countries. So, all that “quest for mastery”, er… we’re doin it wrong.

    I always wonder about that… lower than almost all developed nations on indexes of poverty, democracy, birth mortality rates, discrepancy between rich and poor, etc…

    yup. doin it wrong.

  42. stryx said,

    September 7, 2009 at 21:54

    Well I gave the birth guess an obscure shot

    And while it’s all the rage to eat the placenta nowadays, what I really want to know is

    What will happen to Stude’s oreskin-fay?

  43. jim said,

    September 7, 2009 at 21:56

    So, all that “quest for mastery”, er… we’re doin it wrong.

    Let he who is without arterial plaque cast the first double-cheeseburger with extra bacon & jumbo fries!

  44. Smut Clyde said,

    September 7, 2009 at 22:14

    No, he’s making perfect sense. The Netherlands for instance can be trusted to legalise euthanasia without reverting immediately to an Aktion T4 program BECAUSE the efficiency of their health service proves that they are not consumed with the desire to assume the divine mantle and acquire mastery over life.

    In other news, the wastefulness and incompetence of the US education system proves that y’all desire to indoctrinate impressionable young minds with propaganda (which is why Obama school speech blah blah blah);

    and the disproportionate amount of GDP spent on the US military proves that SHUT UP SMUT.

  45. Andy said,

    September 7, 2009 at 23:07

    I predict little Studie (sp?) will be born 10:50 PM EDT Friday, September 11. (Yes, 9-11, although just barely.) Don’t know enough about the length or weight of an average baby to venture a guess on either.

  46. Andy said,

    September 7, 2009 at 23:08

    Oh, and congratulations when it happens.

  47. Senator Crappo said,

    September 7, 2009 at 23:40

    There are fuckin’ perils lurking everywhere aren’t there? First at the intersection of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Health Care Reform, then at Gay Marriage Square, and don’t stray too long in Abortiontown.

    And don’t forget Second Amendmentville, a dark hellhole of a town in which all the denizens are armed and full of fear, and who dwell in a labyrinth of slippery slopes.

  48. Smut Clyde said,

    September 8, 2009 at 0:06

    the same quest for mastery over mortality that leads us to spend nearly twice as much on health care as any other developed nation

    You have to admire the guy for the barefaced way he slips in the assumption that wasteful, profligate, unproductive use of health-care moneys is a strategy chosen by Americans as a group, rather than by lobbyists. Any pretense at good-faith argument goes out the window at that point.
    Douthat is fortunate that his christianity takes no stand on the “Telling the truth vs. Bearing false witness” issue.

  49. Psychedelic santa said,

    September 8, 2009 at 1:28

    More and more, after seeing what passes for intellectual thought, I’m just in favor of extinction. Mass sterilization is where it’s at; not just for “incompetents” or wingnuts, but for the entire human race. At least it’s worth considering. I’m thinking humanity was a well-intentioned, but failed experiment.

  50. Kobie said,

    September 8, 2009 at 1:46

    Where the fuck did the New York Times dig up this asshole?

  51. Horse Of Another Colour said,

    September 8, 2009 at 3:00

    I’m just in favor of extinction. Mass sterilization is where it’s at; not just for “incompetents” or wingnuts, but for the entire human race. At least it’s worth considering. I’m thinking humanity was a well-intentioned, but failed experiment.

    On my more dystopic days, I’m cheering for the big pandemic with a high mortality rate.

    Mass sterilization needs some sort of government intervention, I say let the earth take care of it on her own.

    I haven’t decided if it’s a failed experiment, or that the parameters need to be readjusted. Overall, I like the idea of leaving somewhere between 20 to 300 million of us remaining. At least that way, everything else has some time to recover, before we start totally fucking it up again.

    I just hope the silo operators, nuclear reactor people, etc. have time to power down before they drop dead.

  52. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    September 8, 2009 at 12:50

    And while it’s all the rage to eat the placenta nowadays, what I really want to know is

    What will happen to Stude’s oreskin-fay?

    What will happen to it? Nothing. It will stay where nature put it, unless he decides at a later date that he’d like to change that.

    Let the flames begin.

  53. Socraticsilence said,

    September 8, 2009 at 16:53

    Man, its amazing how they’ve managed to turn one the most respected voices in the Medical ethics field into a Kevorkian-Mengle hybrid, no wait “amazing”‘s not the word- disgusting that’s it.

  54. humbert dinglepencker said,

    September 9, 2009 at 17:43

    The worst part of this ass-hattery is the idea that only a physician is capable of euthanizing a person. Bullshit. Anyone competent with a syringe (such as myself and many another diabetic, let alone nurses, PA’s, veterinarians, medics, emergency ambulance persons, etc, ad nauseum) and enough of a supply of happy-juice can do the deed. “Physician-assisted suicide” is a meme that needs to go to the retirement home.

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