Friday, February 10, 2006


Citing the best interests of the 'public', the Australian Medical Association, like the National Health Service in Britian, is recommending healthcare rationing.
Patients who are obese, heavy smokers or big drinkers might need to be denied surgery and some medical treatments to ensure the State's limited health services are used effectively, WA doctors have warned.

The Australian Medical Association in WA says the controversial move needs to be weighed up because the risks from surgery are too great for some patients, compared with the benefits.

Vice-president Geoff Dobb said yesterday the issue of rationing treatment was sensitive but it needed to be aired publicly in the interests of running an economic health service.

He said it was clear that there were clinical reasons to argue against some people having surgery because the risks were much greater than for others - and the benefits smaller.
The necessarily arbitrary standards imposed by such people to determine costs and benefits and subsequent entitlements, divorced from the reality of supply and demand and individual responsibility and instead based on bureaucratic political formulas, are totalitarian measures. Behind the whole public health care scheme is the belief that the nebulous public has a "right" to health care. Problem is, we're all forced to pay for it, whether we use it or not and some of us are denied access, although we aren't given an opportunity to opt out of paying the fees.

If the utilitarian calculus used to determine how the rations are distributed is consistently followed, treatment should be denied to elderly people and those determined terminally ill. Why spend the money treating those who will soon cease to be taxpayers? Those suffering a greater social disadvantage, such as minorities, woman and children, would also receive preferential treatment.

Mapmaster and I read the above article last night here, which prompted discussion about similiar rationing schemes in Canada. A notable difference is the present regulations in place which prevent Canadians from purchasing private care. The very next day, this story dirtied my screen.

A New Brunswick man has been told he has to butt out before his doctor will perform the surgery he needs to get back on his feet.

Robert Randall, 42, a fisherman from southeastern New Brunswick, said yesterday he has smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for more than 30 years.

Randall said his doctor has told him he will not perform further surgery on his knee and leg unless he quits smoking for two months before an operation and four months after.

Randall hasn't been able to work for two years because of problems with his leg, which was smashed in a snowmobile accident. He said every step he takes is painful and awkward.
So now doctors in Canada are deciding to deny people public care, even for problems unrelated to scorned upon consumption habits, although they are employed to treat the masses. The doctor could just as well argue that snow machines cause unnecessary pollution, and such "risky" behaviours like snowmobiling are collectively costly and should be discouraged by withholding healthcare. For now, Mr. Randall is still eligible for government disability welfare as he is unable to work. I wonder if Robert Randall's publically paid, overworked doctor took that into consideration when stipulating his conditions?


Honey Pot said...

...and what about those people who ski, jog, bike and do all that annoying health crap? Why should I pay when they do a Sonny Bono into a tree, or get ran down on Wellington St because they don't have enough sense to realize that the only thing between them and death is a styrofoam head cage?

basil said...

Well, if we are going to moralize, we should deny healthcare to the sexually promiscuous as well. Why waste all that money treating AIDS patients? Just let 'em die 'cause they brought it on themselves and continue to pose a potential risk to others - especially if they're ugly. I don't know why we treat ugly people. We can't cure ugliness and ugliness effects everyone surrounding the ugly person. We all know that the material is a manifestation of the spiritual so, obviously, the ugly people of the world have rotten souls and should not be serviced by the healthcare system - otherwise, they might breed and spread more ugliness throughout the world.

Pietr said...

I hope you're joking Basil.
I have met several 'women'(I use the term loosely)who were extravagently beautiful, yet treated this as some kind of 'lucking out' in their crap crap-games of lives;the actual number of women who can make my 'dumb-stick' respond(I have found)is very low and not necessarily a matter of 'beauty'.
I mean, I think that Cathy Bates is a fine looking woman-I don't fancy her myself, but aesthetically she's damn fine.

Joe molnar said...

Geez, trolls living under bridges in Canada should be relieved to know height or ugliness are not on the list of medical conditions denied by the state medical rationing system.

Honey Pot said...

..and how about tall people? They tend to have more back problems because we haven't evolved enough as a species to walk on two legs? Should we be paying for that? How about people who breed, knowing their spawn have a predispostion for genetic defects such as diabetes and such. You would think someone would come up with a plan for mandatory euthanasia for the sick,and elderly...oh yeah they are.

Pietr said...

Somebody wrote a letter over here during the week.
The point (and it made me laugh) was this:if we don't treat smoking-related illness;if we don't treat alcohol-related illness.
If everyone gives up booze and tobacco;what then?
They will still die.
Close to dying they will still need treatment.
Everybody in the world will get sick and die, absolutely everybody!