Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just Die. It's Your Duty.

An evil woman touted as "the influential medical ethics expert Baroness Warnock" says it's time for some tough love and hard death among the demented of England. Call it "the culling the herd to save some money" ethic. Warnock says, "If you're demented, you're wasting people's lives – your family's lives – and you're wasting the resources of the National Health Service."

Or, as Orin Judd so succinctly puts it: "Ever notice how "medical ethics" is nothing more than justifying murder.

We do and we also note how this is a rising trend in the "ethical" thinking of Europe. Or perhaps we shouldn't say "trend" as much as a nostalgic yearning for the past century where an interest in eugenics amongst the "leaders" of that civilization was part of the biggest butcher's bill in history.

Where have we seen this sort of "cost crisis" medical thinking in Europe before? Oh yes, that would be the Hadamar Hospital AKA the Hadamar Euthanasia Center .

When the power of the state is coupled with the ability to ration out health care (or not), there is the enivetable temptation to cut costs by eliminating some of the more "expensive" patients.

It begins by denying services to the undeserving. Why should taxpayers pay for smokers cancer treatments or liver transplants for alcoholics? They did this to themselves, goes the argument. Shouldn't scarce resources be reserved for those who are truly deserving?

Then there are the patients who have no socially useful future (in the eyes of eugenics supporters). The argument has a certain utilitarian logic: why should we waste resources on the profoundly disabled when we could be building bridges or schools with the same money?

Finally, those near the end of their lives must culled. Why have someone linger, possibly in great pain and with no hope of recovery at the cost of thousands of taxpayer dollars?

The answer is simple. We care for the sick, the disabled, and the elderly because every life matters.

Each and every life has value and not only to the one who possess it. This isn't an argument about assisted suicide, that's a topic for another day. Most of us have known friends or relatives who have faced painful ends and we may have wished that we could have alleviated their suffering with the release of death. But that death would be on their terms-not at the behest of the state because of budget cuts.

The weakest in our society will always be vulnerable to the whims of people like Baroness Warnock. Those of us who value our humanity need to vigorously oppose her and those like her at every turn.

1 comment:

Greg said...

As opposed to the whims of an insurance company.

Luckily for us, Jenelle was eligible for medicare when her insurance dumped her.