The matter of distortion, distorted

Palin’s “death panels” really has some folks twisted. KevinMD carries a post by Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP on Health care reform: The uncivil war dividing America that illustrates the point.

First is the plattitude

The unfettered debate about ideas that characterizes the democratic process in the United States operates best when there is a truthful presentation of the issues, and when the process is civil and respectful.

Then there is the ‘misperception’ stated as an axion.

when facts about reform proposals are distorted beyond recognition in an attempt to fuel civil unrest, and when that unrest translates to unruly disruption of town hall meetings, then reasoned debate has transformed itself into an uncivil war.

Then the case study,

The idea that the House bill, HR 3200, is proposing “death panels” is perhaps the most egregious misrepresentation of the reform proposal, but it is certainly not the only one.

The ‘errors’ are many. For one, the “civil unrest” has been isolated and mostly traced to the advocates side. The townhall meetings have been quite civil, especially considering those that we have seen in the recent past. Another error is that of tying the “death panel” idea strictly to the end of life counseling sections of the proposed bill. This is a form of the straw man fallacy as the “death panel” was a much broader allegory related to government decisions regarding the allocation of resources.

This seems to be rather typical lately. Decry various terrible things happening in the debate with the presumption that it is the other side doing it when it is really your own side that has got the problem. What Dr. Weinberger and his ilk need to realize is that honesty and integrity start at home.

Comments are closed.