December 30th, 2011
Econintersect: Mark Levin (pictured) hosts a nationally syndicated radio show originating from WABC New York. On November 22, 2011 Mark took a phone call from a listener who claimed to be neuro-surgeon. The surgeon recounted a national professional society discussion of soon to be announced panels who would make potentially life or death decisions about major surgeries, including a general prohibition of some surguries for patients over age 70. These panels, purported to be authorized by the Obama administration, were likened in the conversation to the 'Death Panels' made famous by Sarah Palin.
Follow up:Click on the video link below to hear the conversation:
It appears that this phone call is a hoax. The AANS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons) and the CNS (Congress of Neurological Surgeons) issued a joint press release on November 28, 2011:
Washington, DC – On November 22, 2011, an individual claiming to be a “brain surgeon” made several statements referencing neurosurgical care on a Mark Levin radio show segment. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) reviewed this segment and found that it contained several factual inaccuracies which we wish to clarify.
The AANS and CNS are unaware of any federal government document directing that advanced neurosurgery for patients over 70 years of age will not be indicated and only supportive care treatment will be provided. Furthermore, in conducting our own due diligence, it appears that the caller who identified himself as a brain surgeon may not actually be a neurosurgeon, nor was there any session at the recent Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ scientific meeting in Washington, DC at which a purported government document calling for the rationing of neurosurgical care was discussed.
Neurosurgeons are committed to providing timely, compassionate, and state of the art treatment for all patients -- regardless of age -- who have neurosurgical conditions. As such, we have requested that this podcast be removed from Mark Levin’s website as it portrays inaccurate information which could potentially be harmful to the patients that we serve.
If the above video is no longer available when you try to play it, the presumption should be that it has been removed from U-Tube. However, more than a month after the AANS/CNS request for removal it was still available.
Note: Mark Levin has impressive credentials. From his website:
Mark Levin is one of America's preeminent conservative commentators and constitutional lawyers. He's in great demand as a political and legal commentator, and has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs. Levin is also a contributing editor for National Review Online, and writes frequently for other publications. Levin has served as a top advisor to several members of President Ronald Reagan's Cabinet - including as Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of the United States. In 2001, the American Conservative Union named Levin the recipient of the prestigious Ronald Reagan Award. He currently practices law in the private sector, heading up the prestigious Landmark Legal Foundation in Washington DC.