Healthcare reform rationing ‘precisely what the Nazis did,’ Land says
Sep 30, 2009
JAMES A. SMITH SR.
Executive Editor

Editor’s note: After criticism by the Anti-Defamation League and others, Richard Land later clarified his remarks reported in this story.

ORLANDO (FBW) – President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders of Congress are advocating healthcare reform that will result in rationing of care, making them guilty of the same ideology that fueled the Nazi Holocaust, Richard Land told the Christian Coalition of Florida at a Sept. 26 banquet in Orlando.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, speaks Sept. 26 in Orlando at the 20th anniversary “God and Country Banquet” of the Christian Coalition of Florida. Photo by James A. Smith Sr.

“I want to put it to you bluntly. What they are attempting to do in healthcare, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did,” said Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Land was the keynote speaker for the 20th anniversary “God and Country Banquet” of the Christian Coalition of Florida.

“Let’s remember,” Land added, “the first 10,000 victims of the Holocaust were not Jews, they were mentally handicapped German children who were gassed and burned in ovens because they were considered to have … lives unworthy of life,” citing the Nazi ideology used to rationalize the Holocaust.

Land said the healthcare debate currently taking place in America prompted by legislation before the U.S. Congress is “about whether we are going to continue to believe our founding documents, which say that we believe that all people are equal and we’re created in the image of our Creator and that we have certain unalienable rights – and among these is the right to life… .”

At stake in the healthcare debate “is the definition of a human being,” he said.

Land said he has bestowed on Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the president’s chief healthcare advisor, the “Dr. Josef Mengele Award” for his advocacy of healthcare rationing. Mengele was the German SS officer and medical doctor dubbed the “Angel of Death” for his role in the Holocaust.

“We are faced with what I call ‘biological bigotry’ and it is every bit as pernicious, every bit as evil, every bit as destructive as the racial and ethnic bigotry that has plagued us in the past,” he said.

Land said Emanuel, a medical doctor and bioethicist who is also the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, has published articles arguing the maximum access to healthcare should be for persons aged 15-40.

“After 40, you lose your right to access healthcare with every passing year,” Land said of Emanuel’s views, comparing them with the British healthcare system.

“The British system is biased against old people,” he said. “After 59 and one-half you lose your right to certain things like bypass operations and dialysis.”

Land said patients in Great Britain face much higher mortality rates than patients with the same diseases in the U.S.: breast cancer, 80 percent; colon cancer, 40 percent; and prostate cancer, 604 percent higher chance of dying in Britain compared to the U.S.

“There is loose within the liberal culture which dominates the Democratic Party and dominates our government at present, a biological bigotry that is feeding a euthanasia mentality,” Land asserted, citing several examples.

A Veteran’s Administration document dubbed the “death book,” originally issued under President Bill Clinton and re-issued under Obama, is a “pro-euthanasia tract,” according to Land.

Land said an early version of the House of Representatives healthcare reform bill, HR 3200, and a different bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., contain provisions for “death counseling” to train doctors how they can advise their patients concerning end of life matters.

Quoting the liberal, pro-life columnist Nat Hentoff, Land said the Baucus provision is “insidious and it means the nature of our final exit from this life will be very much at risk.”

“The Nazis said people should be euthanized when they had lives unworthy of life. … Well, at the very least Dr. Emanuel, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, [Sen.] Max Baucus and President Obama are saying that some people have lives less worthy of life. And the older you are, the sicker you are, the less valuable your life is and the more likely they want to terminate your care,” Land said.

Land said Americans are at a “desperate fork in the road. And it’s not a fork that goes left and right; it’s a fork that goes up and down. We will either reclaim our country or we will live to walk the streets of our cities and they’ll have the same names, but we will be strangers in a strange land. And we’ll not recognize it, but only remember the America that was.”

Although Land said he is more concerned than “I’ve ever been in my public life,” he said he does not despair “because I know that greater is He that is within us than he that is in the world.”

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