Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trust your lying eyes

Anyone who has had to hang around a modern U.S. hospital recently has to be impressed by the quality of the patient care they see being routinely given.

Stunning technology, highly trained medical teams, incredibly caring people all working together and doing battle with pain, illness and death. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, but they do not give up without a fight, and they don't begin that fight without the consent of all involved.

In hospitals you will find chaplains, attending physicians, technicians, nurses, and family members all discussing what the future might hold. What you will never find is even a single government agent, or a death panel.

Nationally, misplaced comments on health care continue to suggest that those working so diligently are part of some conspiracy of governmental malfeasance. Sadly, opinion makers and those listed as "experts" by opinion makers make these absurd charges over and over.

They speak of death panels and government health care takeover, and it's easy to come to believe in these things even where there is no evidence of their reality. The far right has learned that fear is a powerful tool in the hands of hate-mongers. Are you going to believe us, they ask, or your lying eyes?

No matter what the fear-mongers say, however, no one in the government or the hospital is plotting Granny's death, or the takeover of your doctor's ability to apply best practices, or how to get all your money and then kick you out.

Those of us who know better need to stand up for health care professionals who seek not only to do no harm but also to be healers and helpers. It's time to say "no more" to absurd talk so we can confront how to make health care available to all.

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