Way back in the summer of 2009, your Sarah Palin was busy scaring the shit out of The Stupids (i.e., her base) by claiming that the gubmint wanted to vampire-stake Nana in her hospice bed, for fun. Thanks to a new Medicare regulation effective January 1, we will soon relive the halcyon days of snowbilly grifter reality teevee stars attempting to fearmonger your terminally-ill father’s DNR out of existence, because Nobama gave a secret Christmas present to America’s olds: The Death Panels are back!
Here is one of Sarah Palin’s vintage psychotic breaks from ’09, transcribed by a slave from her locked pink plastic Barbie diary and transliterated for subhuman consumption on the Facebooks:
The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
The unassailable integrity and intellectual authority of the genius who wrote these words was enough to make President Nat Turner take specific end-of-life planning language out of the final health care bill. But like the once and future King Arthur, Murdercare rises again! Get ready for a brand-new Medicare regulation to take effect on January 1 and immediately make all your favorite senior citizens dead, instantly.
Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.
Sarah Palin will hate this thing, because she is a coddled ice princess who is insulated from human suffering, and also she just does not understand. But most people do understand. You probably understand.
Have you ever seen a beloved or not-so-beloved person in the end stages of a terrible illness? Have you stared at the tubes and watched the monitors and heard the terrible sucking sound of the giant machine that forces air into and out of the inert body? In fancy medical jargon, this is called “not a lot of fun for anyone.”
There is a moment that most humans must eventually face when someone we love or like or are just plain stuck with has passed the point of possible recovery and is being chained to life by machines, legal obligation, and other people’s fear and denial. There will be no improvement. There will be no change. There will be no miracle. There will be no good coffee for the people standing around and waiting, because hospital coffee is uniformly shitty.
There will, however, be a death. The death can be prolonged and agonizingly painful for the patient and for his or her caregivers, or it can be shorter and merciful. Regardless of age, the person can meet the end with, if not joy or peace, then at least some measure of dignity.
The new Medicare rule pays for voluntary annual consultations on end-of-life care along with the usual physical exam. It pays your doctor for the three minutes he spends answering the question, “So, Doc, what the fuck are my options if some crazy shit happens to me?” That’s it. That’s all. That’s the only fucking thing it does.
If there is such a thing as an unforgivable sin, surely it is the act of preventing a tormented being in the end stages of natural life from the merciful conclusion he or she expressly requested when of sound mind. Through willful ignorance, political calculation, or sheer stupidity, Sarah Palin and her idiot ideological cohorts want to eliminate the last bit of dignity many of us are allowed. And for that, if for nothing else, she is a fucking monster.
Sara Benincasa is the executive web director of Team Sarah/SarahPAC.