hospitalhall

When debating socialized medicine (and other government monopolized services), we often argue ad nauseum about models, theories and statistics.  Cost estimates are made and actuarial tables quoted. We make moral judgments about the motivations of our opponents.  We also forget that real people are affected in real ways by our decisions.  Two cases in point are Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard of the UK.

These little boys had several things in common.  They were very, very sick with little hope of recovery.  Their parents loved them very, very much and wanted to do everything they could to help them survive.  And the UK medical and judiciary system decided that both boys should die.  The parents and others wanting to continue medical treatment were banned from doing so.  When the parents asked the government for permission to take their sons out of the country to receive medical care in the US or in Italy, where care was offered, they were denied.

Charlie Gard is now deadAlfie Evans is still alive as this is being written, even after being taken off of life support, but is not receiving any care.  He will most likely die soon.

Socialized medicine failed these two boys.  Their government failed these two families.  Theories and models are not as important as the very real lives affected by the choices we make about governance.

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seaofsuicide

Melissa Mackenzie of the American Spectator has an excellent essay discussing “Twenty Reasons Mass Killings Happen.”  Her article includes links to several other discussions all arguing basically the same thing (albeit each with a different focus).  Our society is bent on destroying the individual through voluntary moral decay.  We choose evil over good with disastrous consequences.

Specifically, resistance entails conceiving of parenting as an act of rebellion against American culture. For example, for parents merely to remain married is itself an act of disobedience and an insult to the spirit of a throwaway culture in which continuity has little value. It is also at least ninety percent un-American to remain in close proximity to one’s extended family so that children can experience, daily, the meaning of kinship and the value of deference and responsibility to elders. Similarly, to insist that one’s children learn the discipline of delayed gratification, or modesty in sexuality, or self-restraint in manners, language, and style is to place oneself in opposition to almost every social trend. Even further, to ensure that one’s children work hard at becoming literate is extraordinarily time-consuming and even expensive. But most rebellious of all is the attempt to control the media’s access to one’s children. There are, in fact, two ways to do this. The first is to limit the amount of exposure children have to media. The second is to monitor carefully what they are exposed to, and to provide them with a continuously running critique of the themes and values of the media’s content. Both are very difficult to do and require a level of attention that most parents are not prepared to give to child-rearing.  

Nonetheless, there are parents who are committed to doing all of these things, who are in effect defying the directives of their culture. Such parents are not only helping their children to have a childhood but are, at the same time, creating a sort of intellectual elite. Certainly in the short run the children who grow up in such homes will, as adults, be much favored by business, the professions, and the media themselves. What can we say of the long run? Only this: Those parents who resist the spirit of the age will contribute to what might be called the Monastery Effect, for they will help to keep alive a humane tradition. It is not conceivable that our culture will forget that it needs children. But it is halfway toward forgetting that children need childhood. Those who insist on remembering shall perform a noble service.

– From The Disappearance of Childhood (Neil Postman, 1994)

Original posted on Canned Treats:

Proud to live in this era? Programmed for perfect happiness?  Coming soon?

 

More glimpses of the future here.

The tragic and horrific murders in Oregon have primarily brought out two reactions. The first is to be lauded – an emotional outpouring of grief and support from around the country. The second is to be expected and scorned – an attempt to turn the tragedy into a political lesson, either supporting drastic gun control or supporting open carry laws.
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