The Disease in the Healthcare System must be Removed: Is Canada turning into a Utilitarian meat grinder?

By Matthew Ehret-Kump

In April 2009, the LaRouche Political Action Committee (PAC), known to represent Democratic candidates for Congressional office, targeted the Health Care legislation of Barak Obama as a “Nazi useless eater program”. A Hitler moustache on Obama’s upper lip became famous soon thereafter, broke out. While many a right wing reactionary jumped on the bandwagon accusing the Obama administration of “socialism”, anyone studying the LaRouchePAC literature would find something much different behind the evaluation of this Nazi-resurgence with a “democratic face”.

The core of the LarouchePAC evaluation was not to be found in the “state directed” universal health care proposal so adamantly attacked by right wing simpletons, a measure Lyndon LaRouche had in fact supported for decades [1]. It was to be found, however, in the swarm of economic behaviorists that had entered into the White House as Obama’s cabinet and inner circle of advisors. This clique of ideologues represented by such creeps as Cass Sunstein, Larry Summers, Daniel Ariely, Ezekiel Emmanuel and Peter Orszag had made the focus of Obama’s presidency not one of “universalizing healthcare”, but rather “balancing the budget” in tackling the looming “baby boomer timebomb”. Peter Orszag claimed that over one trillion dollars could be saved, while the 50 million uncovered Americans would receive access to care.

03_01_Blair ObamaThe thinking citizen would ask; “if more people shall receive coverage after a reform, then how will significantly less money be spent?” How could such a paradox be overcome? The dark resolution to this paradox would be apparent in the policy guideline that had been outlined succinctly in Emmanuel’s 2008 “Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions”[2] where the obligation to eliminate ‘lives that were not worthy to be lived’ was outlined in blood-curdling terms [3]. The means to achieve this cost saving effect would involve the application of the British National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) system of Tony Blair fame. With NICE, a quality adjusted life year (QALY) model [4] would be introduced as a universal standard of value to determine which citizen would receive “expensive medical treatment” and which would be only given morphine drops or palliative care, based upon “cost effective” considerations.

The regulator of this QALY system could not be trusted to those “selfish” doctors who were inclined to thoughtlessly provide whatever medical treatment they thought fit to their patients without consideration for monetary values. To try to gain public support against the doctors, multiple references had been made by Obama and his behaviourist hive regarding the “selfish” tendency of doctors to provide unnecessary treatment simply in order to get money from insurance companies. The only way that selfishness and the personal greed of doctors could be removed from healthcare delivery was if an anonymous board of “experts” outside of the control of Congress or the Constitution were to have the final say in allocating medical resources in a time of scarcity. The name of this group would be the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and would be the pivot of the whole reform. This was also known euphemistically as the “death panels” by accusers who sadly often knew very little about their subject. Today, a similar reform is silently underway in Canada.

Turning Canada into a Fascist Meat Grinder

As of 2009, the Health Council of Canada produced a widely read paper drawing attention to the dire need for Healthcare reform in Canada called Value for Money: Making Canadian Healthcare Stronger[5]. Just as in the USA and Britain earlier, the baby boomers were retiring, it was argued, at an unsustainable rate and that in merely a matter of 10 years there would be a disproportionate amount of retirees sustained by far too few active employees. To make matters worse, the Federal Healthcare transfer payments allotted to the provinces for Medicare will be expiring in late 2014 leaving a system doomed to collapse were broad reforms not undertaken soon [6]. This report not only supported the NICE and QALY system, but also echoed the “ethical dilemma” highlighted in Ezekiel Emmanuel’s 2008 paper of the very old and pre-mat young who receive enormously expensive care, and whose survival rates, and QALYs are statistically low, emphasizing that waste costs are to blame with extending lives but not quality (or cost efficiency).

By 2011, the call for health reform was echoed first by right wing think tanks such as the Fraser and C.D. Howe Institutes, and then publicly by Prime Minister Stephen Harper very soon thereafter. A harsh public backlash was received by the PM, sending much public discussion of reform under wraps for the time being.

Now in May 2014, while the complete disintegration of the financial system is well underway, it is worth noting two relevant elements of the resurgence of health care reform being set in motion. This twofold resurgence takes the form of healthcare reform on the one side being pushed primarily by an infiltration and brainwashing of leading representatives of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), and the legalization of euthanasia on the other. In both cases, heart wrenching anecdotal case studies are used to argue for “compassion” while the real top-down intention of the architects of such programs, like the Obamacare before it, have only utilitarian views of life, and budgetary considerations in mind.

In mid 2011, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report demanding Canada act promptly to overhaul its unsustainable healthcare arrangements [7]. The fruits of the IMF report began to be felt in June 2012, when the results of an 8 month long study were released during a national conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia by the Canadian Nurses’ Association [8]. The contents of the C.N.A reports allow us an insight into the rationale of this deadly logic. The study was spearheaded by a group that had formed in May 2011 known as the National Experts’ Council (NEC). Among the 13 person group representing the 260 000 registered nurses across Canada are 12 medical professionals and one dubious character by the name of Thomas d’Aquino.

Thomas d'Aquino

Thomas d’Aquino

D’Aquino has made a name for himself over the years as a high level operative in the Canadian oligarchy having first worked in the Privy Council Office serving as Deputy Minister in the 1970s, and then having been the president of the secretive Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) for 29 years (1981-2010), representing the CEOs of the biggest financial institutions and corporations across Canada [9]. In 2010, d’Aquino left his post to Privy Councillor John Manley, and has since devoted his energy to healthcare reform on the NEC. As a self-described “disciple of Schumpeter and the Market”, d’Aquino has advocated the ideology of creative destruction such that economic collapses are considered the greatest opportunities to force revolutionary change in social customs [10].

The influence of d’Aquino can be felt in the results of two published documents presented during the Vancouver conference of 2012, namely A Nursing Call to Action and Better Value: An Analysis of the Impact of Current Healthcare System Funding. The overall purpose of this report is to do nothing less than shape a system of logic that ensures that no one within the medical community dare think outside of the fixed monetary constraints built into the current health care system. The report put a special emphasis on avoiding solutions based upon advanced (and expensive) science and technology or any other idea which has the effect of increasing the medical resource availability either quantitatively or qualitatively.

The three most Delphic aspects of the proposed cost saving measures featured in the reports are: 1) Information technologies to usher in evidence-based medicine, 2) the removal of the power of allocating care from physicians and giving it to faceless “teams of experts”, and 3) encouraging end-of-life care as a replacement to expensive “acute” resource-intensive care.  Let us take a closer look at the treatment of these three components below:

1) Using modern technologies may sound good, until one realizes that those technologies advocated by the NEC do not include more MRIs, or other life-saving, cutting edge (and expensive) equipment, but rather “information tech”. Reliance on life-saving “technological solutions” is actually deemed part of the problem by the NEC authors! According to the authors, having databases (not at all a bad thing in itself) is the key component to ushering in a truly universal “evidence-based” system of treating patients. As Dr. Cathy Helgason argued in a 2009 paper for 21st Century Science and Technology [12], the evidence-based method is useful on an assembly line, but in regards to scientific diagnoses, serves to merely de-humanize the medical process whereby cold computer programs are given increasing power to determine effective treatment, rather than the mind and insight of the doctor.  This is especially true in relation to a cost savings dynamic wherein those that are deemed “too costly” are denied real treatment.

2) Removing the power of prescribing care from physicians who have little regard for cost, and putting it into the hands of “teams”. As one section of an NEC report describes: “Our focus on acute treatment makes family physicians gatekeepers, and their training is to send patients for specialized diagnostics and treatment, which in recent years have often been offered in hospitals and other institutions. We cannot break out of the cycle of sickness-doctor-acute care until we make the choice to fund differently and re-enforce the shift to team-based community care with plans for more accountability for health spending… We need funding to support the delivery of evidence-based care through strong primary health care networks, with teams working together to increase access to well-integrated care. Care should be accessible wherever it is most safe, effective and affordable.”

This “team treatment” policy is no different from the Obamacare in either form or function. Under Obamacare, it is known as the Accountable Care Organization System, in which there are penalties, some of which are already going into effect, for hospitals carrying out too many readmissions, especially for older people. The fact is that having impersonal “teams of experts” regulating patient care using cold blooded cost-effective rules is preferable to any oligarchy seeking population reduction, whereas a system that allows such decisions be made by individual doctors committed to life-saving as a first priority.

3) This third element is the most duplicitous of the three, since end-of-life care, which encompasses palliative care, is indeed a deeply vital and underfunded component of our health system. The promotion of it, however, in this context is not fully honest and provides a standard of practice which allows boards of experts to expel patients from life-saving treatment under the banner of “compassion” [13]. The report begins this section by noting that keeping chronically ill or terminal patients at home instead of occupying expensive hospital beds could save $20 000/year per patient. It is asserted that “statistically speaking” 15% of hospital beds are being used wastefully by patients who could have merely stayed at home benefiting from the occasional help of a visiting nurse. Overall, 85% of medical resources are consumed by 5% of the population, most of whom would rather die in the comfort of their own home then live longer sustained in a cold hospital. While this has a ring of truth in it, the fact is that many patients who seek to prolong their lives will be turned away as such practices will be standardized as hospital policy. The case of Canadian hospitals being penalized $980/day for allowing elderly patients to remain beyond 12 days is but an echo of this policy of expelling patients in need of intensive care from hospitals.

This brings us into the second component to the orchestrated transformation in the healthcare paradigm… euthanasia.

Eliminating the Elderly

It is no coincidence that the attempt to circumvent the doctors associations which have demonstrated a resistance to the new reforms is moving in line with an unprecedented push for euthanasia legalization in the Canadian legal system. On June 15, merely 7 days before the Vancouver NSA conference, BC Supreme Court Judge Lynn Smith delivered a ruling that a physicians’ denial of assisted suicide is unconstitutional. Even though the Parliament came up with a negative decision on the issue of physician assisted suicide in April 2010, Judge Smith gave the Parliament one year to amend its laws.

While this ruling was overturned by the BC Court of Appeals in 2012, new ammunition has been given to the euthanasia movement with the Quebec government’s May declaration to pass Bill 52 to legalize euthanasia (euphemistically termed “medical aid in dying” to get around the fact that the Canadian charter still recognizes the act as murder) by the end of June 2014.

03_04_LiverpoolcareNatalie Sonnen , a spokeswoman for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of B.C responded that “when you place the killing in the hands of medical practitioners there is no way to control that. This decision was made in an ideal situation where there would be no abuse or intentions to kill vulnerable people. Once you grant assisted suicide as a right, which is where we are headed, it becomes a right for all, whether you are deemed competent to make the decision or not” adding that 38% of doctors polled anonymously in places where assisted suicide is legal admitted to killing patients without their consent. Echoing this warning, on June 19 2012, Professor Pullicino, a leading British neurologist speaking at the Royal Society of Medicine revealed that 130 000 elderly patients are killed every year in the NICE reformed Liverpool Care Pathway system [14]. Among the patrons of this system is none other than the son of his royal virus himself, Prince Charles.

Let us make no mistake. The Canadian health care system, like that of its American counterpart, is sick. The high quality healthcare system of the Bretton Woods epoch is a far cry from what is being dealt with today. The systemic change effected by Nixon’s 1971 decoupling of money from physical economy, and the 1973 nixing of the Hill Burton system in the USA has resulted in a healthcare system which has been subsumed within a logic of monetarism. 03_06_Triple CurveIncreasingly, as the sacredness of human life was deemed unworthy of monetary concerns in the domain of globalization, the other branches of modern civilization were expected to conform to the new rules of “each against all”, and “supply and demand’ by the high priests of monetarism such as Milton Friedman, Schumpeter, Paul Volcker, Von Hayek and Alan Greenspan. Monetary prosperity could flourish if the sources of wealth were monetized and turned into commodities for speculation, while “non-profitable” overhead such as infrastructure maintenance and improvement was cut increasingly to produce what LaRouche defined in the 1960s as “fictitious capital”.

Through such a wasting process, underinvestment into the “non profitable” healthcare infrastructure in Canada and the privatization of healthcare infrastructure in the USA resulted in increasing deaths all around. While in Canada, citizens were increasingly receiving lower quality services and longer waiting times for life saving tests and operations, in the United States, poorer citizens were thrown under the bus completely via Nixon’s Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 making healthcare inaccessible for whole sections of the population.

What Must Be Done

The key solution to this crisis is not to be found within the context of the collapsing monetary order or its associated rules, but only in a fundamental change in the system itself. While the demographic crisis is real, it must be recognized that the monetary burden is nothing but a chimera. It is only by re-introducing a global commitment to the future through high energy intensive projects such as the Bering Strait rail tunnel, North America Water and Power Alliance, fusion power, Arctic and Space development that the real wealth generation so necessary to offset the retiring baby boomers may be effected. This process must be modelled upon the experience of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of 1933 and may only be unleashed were Canada to participate in the global drive for a Glass-Steagall separation of banking, and a return to the principles of Hamiltonian National Banking utilizing a newly chartered Bank of Canada as a public conduit for issuing productive long term, low interest credit into the real (i.e: not speculative, not entertainment) economy.

In a time of peace, there is never a reason to triage healthcare, and the argument that there are such things as “finite medical resources“ and “budgets that must be balanced at all costs regardless of human suffering“ must never be tolerated. Seen from a higher vantage point, of top down intentions, we find that such logical conclusions are nothing but mental traps set for the uncreative and immoral among us. Men and women worthy of the title `civilized human` do not bow down to the gods of the market place under any condition, nor are they respectful of the limits to the quantity or quality of life of each human being set by those same `gods`.

It is only from the future vantage point that a truly systemic change can occur. In such a system, the ancient truths extolled by Roosevelt would have to be re-discovered and restored in the temple of civilization, that value is not a measure of utilitarian or monetary considerations, but rather of the efficient power of every creative mind, regardless of the age of its associated body, that allows for the successful growth of our nation and the species ever more unboundedly into the depths of the solar system, galaxy and higher cosmos which in the end, is our true birthright, environment and home.

04_07_The future

End Notes


[2] To read the entire paper:

[3] “When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” This may be justified by public opinion, since “broad consensus favours adolescents over very young infants, and young adults over very elderly people.” Emanuel decrees that we must not kill only the elderly, but also infants. “Strict youngest-first allocation directs scarce resources predominantly to infants. This approach seems incorrect. The death of a 20-year-old woman is intuitively worse than that of a 2-month-old girl, even though the baby has had less life. The 20-year-old has a much more developed personality than the infant, and has drawn upon the investment of others to begin as-yet-unfulfilled projects…. Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments…. It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old child dies, and worse still when an adolescent does.”

[4] Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) is the model choice of the NICE to determine the dollar value for human lives. Categorization of the population into age, lifestyle, and health risks produce a statistical analysis of a human quality of life. Life year values are different for people based upon which categories they fall under.

[5] Download the report here:

[6] Federal Healthcare transfers refer to the funding the federal government allocates to provinces for healthcare. The 10 year contract signed by Paul Martin in 2004 guaranteeing a 6% increase per year expired in May 2014 with no major plan other than a contraction of annual funding beyond that point. The current scramble for healthcare reform across all branches of the Civil Service is a reaction to this fanatical demand to cut costs by establishing new utilitarian “norms” in healthcare delivery.

[7] Canada’s Health Care System Unsustainable- IMF,

[8] C.N.A conference site:

[9] Author Peter C. Newman described d’Aquino’s role as head of the CCCE in a 2009 paper in the following terms: “For most of three decades, he ran what amounted to a parallel government, first under the banner of the Business Council on National Issues, and since 2001, under the renamed Canadian Council of Chief Executives”.

[10]Joseph Schumpeter was an Austrian school economist who coined the term “creative destruction”, referring to his belief that creative innovation was caused by destructive, periodic collapses of markets, and civilizations more broadly. In this cyclical, mindless world, collapses are to be desired, not stopped.

[11] “A Nursing Call to Action”: and for “Better Value…” click here

[12] Evidence-Based Medicine: Treating by Chance, by Dr. Cathy Helgason, M.D., 21st Century Science and Technology, Winter 2011, p.30

[13] This argument mirrors the euthanasia legalization argument sophistically being promoted as “compassion” rather than budget balancing. If such a practice is installed under a logic of austerity, and cost effectiveness, then the results will be the mere increase of deaths with or without the consent of the victims.