Monday, January 29, 2007
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 7 Comments
There's always a price for everything or as they say in certain circles, TANSTAAFL, or There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Politicians though increasingly build their promises on a government bureaucracy that will give you a free lunch. Of course the government bureaucracy isn't free and there's a hell of a tab to pick up for the lunch too.
The problem with offering pie in the sky though is someone has to pay for it. Medicine is justifiably a human right, but when doled out by the government comes packaged with a massive bureaucracy to implement and distribute and manage it. While the governments promised a lot, reality interferes naturally. Drugs and doctors don't grow on trees.
Socialized medicine may give away a lot, but it has to stagger carefully what it gives away and lower the quality. Americans may go to Canada for cheap drugs but Canadians will go to America because America offers the procedures they need, without having to wait months for them. Wards in England are a national disgrace and a nightmare with nursing shortages, mixed sex wards and severe cleanliness problems. France's broken health care system is climbing the ranks of election campaign issues.
For parts of the 19th and most of the 20th century, civic medicine has made great strides. Health care and hygiene came to the slums, diseases were fought and conquered. Much of what was accomplished was toted up as yet further evidence that government programs when applied to social problems could create an ideal society.
As social prosperity increased, lifespans increased and birth rates fell. In America they fell somewhat, in Europe they fell drastically. So drastically that Europe from the English coastlines to the Russian tundra is facing the loss of millions of people and the depopulation of entire areas. This would have been a severe enough problems in and of itself, but a system in which younger worker's pay is leveraged to provide social services for them and for retired citizens cannot survive a gap in the birth rate any more than you can build a building with a missing two stories in the middle.
Immigration was meant to make up for that but of course immigration only makes things worse. On paper immigration seems like an easy way to make up for a birth rate shortfall. But immigration is not some sort of clone factory stamping out fresh new young workers to take their places at the desks and counters of tomorrow. Immigration meant importing entire families, often in three generations, from the third world, most with health care needs vastly outweighing those of the natives. And then there are the social problems.
Using immigration as a stopgap solution for the birth rate was a lot like a thirsty man at sea drinking salt water. It made things a good deal worse and placed massive stresses on socialism's free lunch pail. This wasn't so much a problem for the government bureaucracies though as for the nation's citizens. The bureaucracies were perfectly happy with the infusion of third worlders as it meant more jobs for them and expansions of their programs. The bonus crime, diseases and social unrest was manna from heaven for them. The worse things got, the more funding they could demand for their departments.
For the Western nations as a whole though it was a horrific disaster that undermined their social fabrics, created war zones in formerly peaceful small towns and of course gave them a whopping huge bill for the whole thing.
But still the squeeze was on and immigration only made it worse. You could squeeze it by cutting off social services for deadbeat immigrants, at least for the illegal ones, but no municipality in Europe and America would hear of that. It's not only racist but it's equivalent to taking away a farmer's milk cows just when he expects years of use from them.
That leaves squeezing the elderly and the disabled through euthanasia. And that's exactly the situation where disabled patients in England sue to not be disconnected from life support and are denied. Euthanasia is declared to be a human right, but it is not only applied to those who actively wish to die, but to those whom the bureaucracy decides should die.
The resource shortfall has to be made up from somewhere and the elderly are no more use to anyone as far as the bureaucracy is concerned and there is a whole lot of them about. As immigration further strains the health care system, choices are made. Alfred has to die, so Mahmood can get treated for three diseases that had formerly been eradicated in the Western world.
It's not only Europe. It's America too. A family friend recently passed away in no small part because the hospital he was in decided he should die. His feeding tube was disconnected and not reconnected for days despite pleas for his wife. Doctors pressured her repeatedly to disconnect him from life support and would not respond to her questions about his condition. She stayed by his bedside but in the end they got what they wanted.
Another acquittance some years back found that her uncle had been disconnected from life support without her authorization leading to his death. When she demanded answers, she was told, "He lived his life."
He lived his life, is the epitaph of a lot of elderly men and women dying under socialized medicine or perhaps being outright murdered. Eugenics today is a dirty word, but the distinction between eugenics as practiced by the Germans or practiced under socialism today, is the definition of "Life Unworthy of Life." The Germans applied it to the mentally ill, the disabled and a variety of categories including the Jews. Today it's often applied to the disabled, babies and the elderly, whose "Quality of Life", a euphemism that could proudly be translated into the German, is measured, found wanting and disposed of.
Peter Singer, one of the moral and ethical authorities of modern medicine, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, has endorsed killing disabled newborns and mentally disabled elderly. Singer isn't some obscure crank, he's the leading inspiration of the animal rights movement.
Singer premises the right to life on "the ability to plan and anticipate one's future." In a bureaucracy of course no one has much ability to plan and anticipate one's future and accordingly have no right to live. Like Nazi eugenics, such selection targets the weakest and most vulnerable people in a society by the government.
The most common reasons for disapproving of eugenics have been racial, rather than the moral argument that murder is simply wrong. Modern eugenics instead of targeting racial minorities, targets the weakest people on behalf of minorities. The selection is made to prioritize social services for third world immigrants, over the nation's own disabled and elderly citizens. The resource gaps created by socialized medicine have to be balanced and the scales weighed. Alfred must die, so Mahmood may live.