Teaching Death Panels

The school principal said this was an exercise intended to foster empathy. I’m not buying it.

A classroom of 14 and 15-year-old Illinois high school students was assigned the task of deciding the fate of ten fictional characters in an exercise that critics called a lesson in death panels.

The assignment was part of a sociology unit for freshmen and sophomore students at St. Joseph-Ogden High School in St. Joseph, just east of Champaign. The story was first reported by Champion News.

The lesson involves 10 people who are in desperate need of kidney dialysis.

“Unless they receive this procedure, they will die,” the lesson states.

But there’s a problem. The local hospital only has enough machines to support six patients.

“That means four people are not going to live,” the assignment states. “You must decide from the information below which six will survive.”

According to the worksheet I received, the student opted to spare the doctor, lawyer, housewife, teacher, cop and Lutheran minister.

The others weren’t so lucky.

Among those unceremoniously dispatched to the hereafter were an ex-convict, a prostitute, college student and a disabled person.

Read the whole thing.