Saturday, September 02, 2006

"The Anointed" Are Often Wrong

Salt has graciously allowed me to guest blog for him while he is away. I blog over at Sue Bob's Diary and Texas Advance Directives Blog.
I have been woefully negligent about posting lately, so perhaps guest blogging will motivate me.

I have, of late, been very active in opposing the Texas Futile Care Statute and "futile" care theory in general. Michelle Malkin addressed a very poignant reason why I am in opposition, the case of Haleigh Poutre:

The state of Massachusetts almost murdered her. They deemed her "virtually
brain-dead," in a "vegetative state," and not worth saving. Now, she is
"bright-eyed and smiling," responsive, and speaking a few words. Update from

I don't know what the medical schools are teaching as medical ethics these days, but the situation with Haleigh Poutre clearly demonstrates that the medical profession should not have the monopoly on deciding what passes for ethics in our society. Cases like Haleigh's show how misguided they have become.

For example, a Dr. Linda sent a letter to the editor of Worldnet Daily to wit:

Just thought you'd like to know that most, if not all, medical personnel
here in Miami are endorsing and voting for Charlie Crist for governor. I'm a
physician in Miami and my colleagues, both doctors and nurses, have been strong
advocates against any public official who had the audacity to interfere in what
should have been a family medical decision. Yes, that's right. Our hospital had
a poll two weeks ago which showed that 96 percent of us are voting for Crist,
and we hold politicians accountable.

Terri Schiavo had the cognition of a bag of lettuce. We've had many
cases like hers since, but we're smarter now. We'll never let the religious
fright know. The psychochristians, like
have no place in the medical field. Neither do ignoramuses like the
Schindlers. If you're interested, we're having a huge celebration after Charlie
wins next week. Gallagher doesn't have a chance in hell of winning. Sorry!

What kind of physician would say something like that? Well, I find such an attitude less than uncommon. I wrote back and they actually published my letter. The letter chronicles my experiences with families who have had to fight hospitals to prevent them from turning off respirators, stopping hydration and nutrition administered by a tube and actually walking into a patient's room and turning off a perfectly functioning pacemaker from a conscious person. One quote from my letter explains the title of this post:

The present danger, to us all is that a bunch of "the anointed," as Thomas
Sowell has termed such people, who believe that their education and knowledge
should trump the social values of our society, have begun to wrest control of
the medical profession away from those who value human life. They believe that
they, alone, should make decisions about whose life is valuable enough to
receive medical treatments.

How is this permitted? It is justified by doctors who believe that some life is not worth living and it is unethical to allow it to continue through medical treatment.

Ok, so a physician thinks that way. We do have freedom of conscience in this country. The problem is that, if the patient and family disagree with the doctor, the patient has very little chance of finding other options once that patient is labeled as "futile."

We do not have a free-market health care industry. Licensing, government funding and regulations limit consumer choice--as well as limiting entry into the market by alternative providers. For the best explanation of what I mean, go here and read Dr. Gary North's explanation.

We have a system which emphasizes rationing as opposed to increasing the pie. I am convinced that the demographic that will see the full impact of degraded medical ethics combined with incentives to ration is my demographic, Baby Boomers.

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