A couple of winters ago, I slipped on the ice and needed x-rays. Came home with three days worth of pain pills. A few months ago my son had an accident, needed x-rays and came home with three days worth of pain pills. No over-prescription, here.
But apparently New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg perceives painkillers as being too-available, and he needs to control it. And if you have to suffer so he can feel better about things, well, that’s too bad. Via Instapundit:
Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city officials unveiled a new initiative to limit supplies of prescription painkillers in the city’s emergency rooms as a way to combat what they described as a growing addiction problem in the region. Some critics, as documented by The New York Times, however, felt the move would unnecessarily hurt poor and uninsured patients who use emergency rooms as their primary care doctor. Needless to say, Mr. Bloomberg was not swayed by this line of argument.
“The city hospitals we control, so … we’re going to do it and we’re urging all of the other hospitals to do it, voluntary guidelines. Somebody said, oh, somebody wrote, ‘Oh then maybe there won’t be enough painkillers for the poor who use the emergency rooms as their primary care doctor,’” the mayor said on his weekly radio show with John Gambling. “Number one, there’s no evidence of that. Number two, supposing it is really true, so you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit. The other side of the coin is people are dying and there’s nothing perfect … There’s nothing that you can possibly do where somebody isn’t going to suffer, and it’s always the same group [claiming], ‘Everybody is heartless.’ Come on, this is a very big problem.”
In the same interview, Mr. Bloomberg stressed the initiative’s simple rationale is to prevent extra pills from piling up in the cabinets of New Yorkers who no longer need them, where they can pose a health risk if they’re abused.
Christian theology has the means and the practices to help us bring meaning to our suffering, if we must suffer. Under secular theology (seculalogy?)if (because the mayor of the city wants to make sure you don’t have an errant Vicodin laying about) you must suffer a bit, well…”offer it up” for the sake of
heaven Bloomberg’s burgeoning SkyDaddy sensibilities.
Of course, Bloomberg is in his third term of as Mayor in a city with a two-term limit. He doesn’t feel accountable to much of anything but those sensibilities. Lame Ducks — whether they intend to ever leave office or not — have astonishing “flexibility.”
Megan McArdle has more thoughts: “I assume that this will also make it harder for addicts to get the prescription drugs with which they are currently screwing up their lives. But it’s hard for me to view this as a worthwhile tradeoff. It seems fairly horrible to keep people in bad pain, incurred through no fault of their own, in order to protect other people from themselves. I’m not minimizing the problem of prescription drug abuse, mind you; I’ve known a few people who’ve had a hard time with it. But I’ve also known a few people who were in chronic pain, and I know which one I’d choose.”