by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Leader recalls when Mike Huckabee evinced sympathy for the sick and contrasts it with his remarks about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy -- that "Obamacare" and fictional death panels would have had the senator take a pain pill and go home to die.
In the storm of protests about Huckabee’s contemptible comment, he cited the president’s remark at a town-hall meeting when they were discussing expensive and often useless end-of-life medical procedures. Obama said people with terminal illnesses could consider whether they wanted to undergo surgery that might add a short period of life or draw their last breaths in relative comfort. They do that now, and nothing would change under the bills. It would be a family choice.
It is a dilemma that every family and most likely each of us will face: a surgically implanted feeding tube for a comatose mother who had said she did not want such agony, or still another round of radiation? One way to interpret Huckabee’s remarks — it’s the way he would interpret them if Obama had uttered them — is that he would not allow people to make such choices. The government would tell the patient and the doctors that the surgery must be performed. The doc and the hospital need the money.