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Cheney's 'big government' artificial heart
Without it, "Mister Torture' would be dead meat


Last July, Mister Torture had a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) put into his chest to assist
his failing heart. Cheney is now resuming his public life in politics. News reports note that he is
more than willing to talk about his new life-saving implant. It is not so clear that he fully understands
what he needs to say about it.

There is a lot to talk about regarding LVADs. As Cheney resumes his active role in GOP politics,
is he aware that the only reason he is alive is as a result of taxpayer-supported government research
at the National Institutes of Health? He might want to mention that the private sector did not do the
basic research that led to the invention of the LVAD—public money played the crucial role.

The left ventricular assist devices are used when a heart is no longer capable of pumping blood on
its own and cannot recover. Those who receive them will die with them. Which leads to another topic
Cheney should be talking about—how he will die.

While the newly empowered GOP is saber-rattling about huge cuts in government spending, without
federal funding for NIH, Cheney would be very unlikely to be alive to join that chorus.

While Cheney’s LVAD is clearly keeping him alive and active, things will not always be so positive.
So it is important that the former vice president and anyone else with an LVAD have a conversation
with their doctor about end-of-life planning.   It is crucial that those who are dependent upon a last ditch
technology like an LVAD talk about their wishes and values with their doctors and their families.

Mister Torture has spent his life combating the untoward influence of big government on individual
freedom and as a critic of many nondefense federal programs. Ironically, it is federal spending that
created the machine that allows him to continue to push his point of view. And it is the very program
he and the GOP have condemned as “death panels” that provides the best hope that he will enjoy the
kind of death he chooses. He and the rest of us must do whatever we can to encourage advance care
planning as part of our routine medical care.

Evil sons of bitches tend to die of old age ...and super-wealthy.

Since Mister Torture is among the most evil bastards in America,
we can expect him to live as long as Reagan, Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond.



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