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Sunday, March 7, 2010
CNS Joins McCaughey in Taking Emanuel Out of Context

In a March 5 article on comments made by Obama administration adviser Ezekiel Emanuel, Christopher Neefus noted that "Betsy McCaughey, the former lieutenant governor of New York State, wrote a commentary for the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 27, 2009, about Ezekiel Emanuel that was headlined, 'Obama’s Health Rationer-in-Chief.'" Neefus later added that "Emanuel came to be known as the 'deadly doctor' and by August was defending himself in TIME Magazine, saying he was taken out of context."

What Neefus failed to note, however, is that McCaughey -- who has a long history of making false and misleading claims about health care reform -- repeatedly distorted and took statements by Emanuel out of context. Indeed, McCaughey had to walk back her false assertion that Emanuel wanted to "eliminate" the Hippocratic Oath.

Indeed, in portraying Emanuel as the "deadly doctor," Neefus follows in McCaughey's footsteps by taking Emanuel's statements out of context:

In a 1996 paper written for a nonpartisan bioethics research group, the Hastings Center, Emanuel outlined a scenario in which people might decide in a public forum which health care treatments are “basic” and should be socially guaranteed, and which are not. He mentioned that some health care providers might consider not guaranteeing services to those “prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.”
“An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia,” wrote Emanuel.  “A less obvious example is guaranteeing neuropsychological services to ensure children with learning disabilities can read and learn to reason.”

In fact, as Media Matters noted, Emanuel was describing a "consensus" view on the issue, not his own personal beliefs, as Neefus suggests.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 PM EST

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