Sunday, July 23, 2017

Shared Risk

I was not sure if I felt comfortable writing about the baby, Charlie Gard, and the subsequent press with regards to the end of life of a child who appears to be at the end of life.

We have had many of these struggles over the decades, the most significant I can recall was the Terry Schiavo case in 2005 that led to a Congressional intervention. 

At the time I thought it was appalling and I still do.  I find the odd people who protest, object and attempt to intervene with women going to Planned Parenthood with the presumptive belief that anyone walking through their doors is getting an abortion.   To me what  woman decides to do with her body is her decision and the Government has no right to intervene there either.

What it really means is that when it comes to private medical decisions the Government has the right to ignore the individual and therefore make any decisions that will do little to change the outcome but force individuals to comply with said decision.  And that does what exactly?

Funny, while they demand a smaller Government and hands off policy when it comes to everything else related to health care, they neglect they mean health care the way "they" want it.  And it appears that is a one size fits all definition.  A definition based in heavy Christian ethos and little to no pathos.  No one can ultimately apparently decide what is right for them or their family without meeting the standards, beliefs of the higher order and that higher order is not the God of their faith bu the Government's God.   So much for separation of Church and State as living here in the South that line is so blurred its nearly non-existent.

Americans adore conformity they just cannot agree on what defines that conformity.  Is it God fearing white people with access to use the roads and love Cops and War?  That "entitlements" mean you get a sort of free Education until grade 12 but read only the agreed upon books and as for Social Security or Medicare when you retire, not so much.  Attend Christian church.   Be American born or a desired and permitted Immigrant who speaks fluent English and will convert to Christianity and of course embrace all the foods that define American, with the odd dip into fast food ethnicity. Drive American big trucks, have 2.5 children and beat them when they are bad.  As for anyone not heterosexual - well the closet is roomy and you are welcome to step in.    Anyone who does drugs, commit crimes must go to Jail directly to Jail for a long time. Then if you need medical care the job you have that pays you a decent wage that is not union organized provides health insurance and any extras you can pay for via your savings that you have after buying a home in a nice suburban hood.

I am pretty sure I am missing some things, but basically its be White, be Christian, be Employed, be American born and that is the definitive of the American persona.  Having any different opinion/lifestyle/belief is a problem and you need to figure out how to fix it or the Government can pass a law to fix that for you.

So we have a President weighing in on a child that is not an American citizen and if he was in fact Latino or Muslim makes one wonder if he would vest any interest what so ever with regards to the child's health given his other opinions on other children less white and/or Christian.  Then we have the Pope, whom I adore but this too is not something that the family solicited.  I am unclear if they are Catholic and if so then they should have taken him to one of the many Catholic hospitals that exist before they decided to accept the care offered by the National Health Service which provides all of this end of life care free of charge to the Gard family.

I am surprised that no one brought up that fact as we debate health care here in America using that as some type of bell weather to resuscitate the death panel talk from years earlier. 

Any family can relate to the pain.  We had another family here in America, the Jahi McMath family that fought a similar battle over their 15 year old daughter.  I don't recall President Obama weighing in nor Black Lives Matter ensuing a protest as the family is also black.  Nor do I recall any leader of any Christian organization coming forward as the McMath family were strong Christians and this battle was over their faith and beliefs that are often espoused by the same raging crackpots who reside outside of Planned Parenthood.   Funny how that works.

But the earliest memory of these battles was Nancy Cruzan.  That led to an eight year battle between the Courts, and ironically anti-Abortionists and anti Euthanasia supporters, and the Cruzan family who WANTED much like Ms. Schiavo to end her life.   Why do they care about this? Are the paying the hospital bills?

Which brings me to Senator McCain and Congressman Scalise.  They should resign and in turn allow their lives to progress in the natural stages that follow illness or injury.  We should not be paying their salaries nor contributing towards their medical costs.  If I am going to pay for it then I have a say apparently in what they do.  Well I have a lot to say so let's set up a meeting.  I can come to you.

Funny how they get top notch medical care and pay nothing for it.  Not a premium nor a deductible nor have to worry about ever getting proper care, therapy and treatment that is not available to any other American unless they are very rich.  How many GoFundMe's exist to help those pay medical debt or bury their loved ones after death?

We are going to find this debate back on the forefront of America's paranoid vision of death.  For now Oregon is the only State that allows those to choose the right to die and we have come a long way since the trials and tribulations of Dr. Kevorkian.  This article is from The Atlantic a decade ago and since then we have had more Doctors share their own stories of mortality and illness in ways that lead one to think about life and what it means to end it by choice. 

This Frontline special investigates end of life care and that cost is significant in every sense of the word.  And we are changing the way we live as we come to terms about what it means to die - to die sick - the whack jobs in Silicon Valley are busy trying to avoid that under all costs.  Hyperloop to infinity and beyond!

As I write this CBS This Sunday Morning is about Cancer and the debate and treatment over  Cancer, the cause, treatments, research and the long term realities of those suffering from a terminal illness.  And as Baby Boomers are now entering their 70s this issue about end of life will be the biggest issue we face and hence this issue about health care is even more significant.  Only yesterday I read an article about how the rich set up trusts to bankrupt themselves on paper in order to preserve their wealth to qualify for  Medicaid which picks up the slack where Medicare doesn't with regards to care in old age.

Again health and life and death should be a MATTER OF CHOICE.  We need to agree that not all of us feel the same about our personal health and that our faith and history and culture that dictates how we approach medical care but is our decision and ours with our Doctors and our family.  So yes if we became a country of single payer I would not object to the Guard family and their struggle to keep their baby alive but I would ask why the Courts and public are involved.  Again we agree and we can disagree as to the extent of what one does with what we share.

So what that means is if I give you a piece of the pie and you elect to throw it out, fine you won't get another piece sorry it is finite.  But if you cut it up share it or save it that is great.  It is your piece.  So if we have a family who wants to keep a child alive indefinitely I support that in the same way a family chooses to not.   A woman elects to abort a child and another who keeps it I support that.  Interesting that in both the latter cases they are infinitely more expensive with no guarantee on outcome.  That is what defines Insurance - shared risk.  I accept that.   Can you? 





No comments:

Post a Comment