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A happy follow up to this story about a Mom who refused to back down before a Nazi physician and some soft totalitarian social worker who wanted her daughter dead.
As much as some folks will like to spin this as a morality play of The Culture of Life vs evil socialist “Nazi” medicine, the oversimplification will not do. This little girl ended up on the wrong side of the 8-ball for reasons which had nothing to do with Obama’s fabled “death panels.”
She got there because A)dramatic interventional health care is a finite resource. B)If no one makes the ugly decisions, events make them for us and C) We have come to a general consensus in this country that human life is a commodity. One either rates health care by virtue of their financial status, or they do not.
This deadly consensus is not only shared by the “Culture of Life” politicians, it is one of their central platforms. The fact that parents and others stood up for this little girl is admirable, but it does not change the underlying commodification of her life. It simply bid up the value of one life in one “appraisal” or bidding war, if you will.
The simple logistics of media and public attention span dictate that tens of millions of other folks who stand to lose their life will not get the wonderful hearing in the court of public opinion that this little girl had. Most of the people who WILL die under our system are not as cute as this little girl, and the things that will kill them are not as made-for-TV drama sexy as an organ transplant. They will die because they weren’t able to afford the routine screenings and treatment that would have prevented their diabetes from eating them alive or would have caught a cancer at a treatable stage.
There won’t be a lone doctor or committee we can cast as Nazi villians. We won’t be so eager to demonize those responsible for the ugly gatekeeping decisions, unless we want to admit to ourselves that we are all wearing the skull and lightning insignia……
It occurs to me that these determinations of whether a person is worthy of a surgery or treatment is treating human beings like used cars. We would not put a new transmission or some other new system in a ten year old car. We do a cost-benefit and consider its life ahead on car repairs. It’s not worth it. We would let the car die, trade it in and get a new one. People are not cars.