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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Milton Friedman discusses which system, collective socialism or capitalism, results in more social justice and equality.