Thursday, May 19, 2005

Reason #99,999,999,999 not to live in a socialist society

Check this story out from England, which I found on Amy Welborn's blog.

So, let me get this straight: a mentally competent man is fighting to keep his right to tell doctors that they cannot withdraw food and water from him once he is no longer able to communicate--even though his condition, cerebellar ataxia, if I remember anything from medical school, will not affect his higher brain functions at all. This is one small step from involuntary euthanasia.

First stem cells, now this. I have become convinced that the problem is with us, that we who know better do not speak out. Now, how best to do that?


At 6:48 PM, Blogger Paul said...

How timely, with my post on the reversion to savagery.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger BekahS. said...

The good of the state taking precedence over the good of the person. Nice.

At 8:09 AM, Blogger dcs said...

It's not necessarily a problem with Socialist societies -- the very same thing is happening in the U.S. And doctors here make the very same excuses: we don't have enough resources, etc., even when people have private health insurance. The fundamental problem is viewing resources as finite. While this is (somewhat) true, our ability to make use of our resources is not finite. I think this is what the late Julian Simon was getting at when he termed Man "the ultimate resource."

Food is finite, so we must control population. Fossil fuels are finite, so we must conserve energy, by force if necessary. Etc.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Chad said...

LJD, you are right that the same sorts of things are happening in the US. However, it is definitely the case that in the U.K., where the government provides essentially all health care (there is a private sector, where the wealthy and desperate may obtain some care, but it's minuscule). In such a case, the government is fighting to take this man's rights away. I dare say that the same may happen in the U.S. one day, but at this point, if someone is competent, there is absolutely no way this would happen here.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger dcs said...

Trust me, it does happen here. There were a couple of examples posted on the Internet in the wake of the Schiavo murder. And it is not only the patients' families that are making the decision.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger ZF said...

"The Department of Health, backing the GMC’s attempt to reverse the ruling, said that if that right were established, patients could demand other life-prolonging treatments."

Imagine a patient wanting to prolong life rather than shortning it.



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