May 3, 2005
UK's Healthcare Setup Partly Blamed in 'Baby Charlotte' SagaTopics: International
Dr. David Stevens with the Christian Medical & Dental Associations says although euthanasia is illegal in Britain, that does not change the control doctors are given. He explains that England has a national health service that provides free healthcare to British citizens. Essentially, he says, that results in a "single-party payer" of medical costs.
"In other words, the government's paying all the bills and dictates all the policies, which makes it quite different than here in the U.S.," Stevens says. "In the U.S., if a doctor was taking care of a patient and thought that some intervention was futile and should not be continued but the family disagreed, you could always transfer the care to another physician or another hospital."
The question, says Stevens, is whether physicians can override the wishes of the parents. "In England that is possible," he explains, "and increasingly in this country we're seeing that concern rise because a lot of things increasingly are being defined as 'futile care.'"
Posted by tim at May 3, 2005 12:12 AM
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