April 11, 2010

We need a phrase to articulate this subtle concept...

James Taranto, writing on this piece in the NYT...

...Still, patients' voluntarily forgoing treatments whose costs outweigh the benefits may not be enough. Having taken on, over the objections of the public, the responsibility for everyone's medical care, the federal government may not be able to keep its promise: "Eventually, we may well have to decide against paying for expensive treatments with only modest benefits."

Oops, sorry about that, Gramps!

It seems as though this is a pretty strong argument against ObamaCare. But we need to encapsulate it in a pithy phrase. What would you call governmental institutions that empower bureaucrats to decide when to deny medical treatment--panels, as it were, that have the authority to determine when a patient's death is necessary for the health of the fisc?

Coming up with a suitable term is a high-powered intellectual challenge. Our thinking cap is on, and we'll get back to you as soon as something dawns on us...
(Thanks to Monsieur Hoy.)

Sarah sure nailed that one! I think the claims that she is not intelligent are ludicrous, but even if she is, it's better to be wise than smart. Far better, especially for a president.

And there's a more subtle point here, which i have little doubt Sarah "gets," even if she doesn't articulate it. Imagine a person is made a slave because our law allows it. And another person is made a slave because he's kidnapped by someone who is breaking the law. Are these two things equivalent? No, clearly not. An indvidual criminal act is not the same as a wrong sanctioned by our laws and our government.

Or, imagine that one woman loses her unborn baby because she can't afford medical treatments. And another woman gets a legal abortion. Are these two things equivalent? If the Christian view of abortion is true, then, no. The second is far worse, spiritually, for our society, because we all become complicit in the crime.

The same thing is true of health care. A utilitarian might say that a person dying because he could not afford care is no different than a person dying because a bureaucratic committee has decided not to purchase some piece of medical equipment. I say, not at all. The latter is far worse, because our government is cold-bloodedly deciding that some people are expendable.

Posted by John Weidner at April 11, 2010 7:57 PM
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