Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stop this malicious e-mail

When I wrote that health-care reform probably should include less care for the elderly, I meant only that dying people should not have their deaths prolonged by unnecessary and painful medical intervention. Of course seniors should have good health care. I believe that, you believe that, and President Obama believes that too.

I want to be clear about that because an e-mail is circulating that, like most scary e-mails, is entirely false. According to this e-mail, people over 59 can't get heart surgery in England (actually, they can and they do). The e-mail implies that Natasha Richardson's death was due to failures in Canada's health-care system (actually, they responded very quickly once the family allowed them to). It says that President Obama wants our system to be based on Canada's and England's (actually, he doesn't). It likens the President's health-care plans to signing "senior death warrants."

And that's only for starters. It is hard to find a single fact in the e-mail. Even quotations are attributed to the wrong people. You can read the e-mail and a thoroughly researched response at the FactCheck website, and I hope you will.

Please, whether you love or hate the health-care proposals now being discussed, check out the facts before ever passing on an e-mail. Any e-mail. Especially if it, like this one, says, "Please use the power of the internet to get this message out." E-mails that beg to be passed on are always annoying, usually false, and often malicious. This one is all three.

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