healthcare

Healthcare and the Cult of the Blameless

 

When I grew up in the 1950s people were held responsible for their actions.  Just as in physics, there was an equal and opposite reaction most of the time when you did something wrong.  Even as a child, you were held accountable.

Now it seems things like bad health and organ failure “just happen” to people, as if they were caught in a thunder storm or subjected to conditions that had nothing to do with their own actions.  With liberals fully in control of the government, it seems its mandate is now to give any person what they need, regardless of whether they’ve earned it, deserve it, or are entitled to it by virtue of being American citizen taxpayers.

Conservatives (many of whom are on the socialized medicine program Medicare), have grumbled about Obamacare’s “death panels” and talked quite a lot about how “unfair” it is that someone will be deciding who will live and who will die.  Where have these people been living—in outer space?  Life and death decisions have been made for decades by clerks in offices at insurance companies!  When Rush Limbaugh talked about how 90% of healthcare costs come in the last year of life, I knew instinctively what the problem was with runaway healthcare costs.  American medicine wants to try to keep the patient alive as long as someone will pay, and it doesn’t matter if their quality of life is zero.  Death equals a failure of the system!  Remove the payment and just as with any good capitalists, the motivation to “help” disappears, too.

I am totally against the concept of any kind of transplants.  Many organ recipients go through multiple organs before they find one that will function properly.  There aren’t enough young people in horrible motorcycle accidents with head injuries to supply all the people with failing organs, and those who get them sometimes get more than their share.  And then there are the irresponsible recipients (usually minors) who don’t take their immunosuppressive drugs and whose bodies end up rejecting the new organ.  Should they get yet another organ gift, after they have demonstrated they don’t want to take care of themselves?

The dirty little secret of the organ transplant industry is that within five years, the toxic immunosuppressive drugs are likely to cause lymphoma.  So the question for the person who is ill is:  do you want to die from organ failure or from cancer?

What, you’re telling me you didn’t know that the body rejects foreign objects, including tissue, even if it’s “matched?”  In all its great wisdom, the human body rejects anything that doesn’t belong to it.  The four most common reasons for organ failure are:  genetic defects, chronic substance abuse over a long period of time, exposure to chemotherapy for cancer, and old age.  Occasionally, an infection may damage an organ, and sometimes that is not the fault of the organ’s owner.  In the case of a genetic defect, the chances are good that if the person survives, they will reproduce and their kids will have the same defect.  Who will pay for this, since no medical insurance company would insure such a person?  Why, the kindly US taxpayer.  How generous of them!

Scared-to-death cancer victims are intimidated into chemotherapy by doctors who are either ignorant or who are pushing drugs that give them a kickback.  Yet, the drugs used in chemotherapy are toxic to the entire body, not just to the cancer cells.  Medical professionals who are “in the know” strongly suspect that chemotherapy can cause premature organ failure, as well as more cancer.  Everything that goes into the body needs to be processed by the liver and the kidneys, as well as the digestive tract.

In the case of those who are life-long alcoholics and drug addicts, organs start to shut down from their constant abuse by the time the person reaches their 40s or 50s.  Yet rock musician David Crosby (who was likely a private payor) was able to go to the head of the liver line in front of many other recipients, despite his history of alcoholism.  Should the US taxpayer care more for people who didn’t care enough about themselves to take care of their own bodies?  Should we pick up the tab for those who have been self-destructive for their entire lives?  Why not let them just die, and suffer the consequences of their harmful actions?

There is nothing wrong with offering old people the option of dying instead of continuing on the doctor-hospital cycle.  At some point, many seniors get fed up with them and decide that under no circumstances will they deal with any more doctors or go to hospitals for any kind of procedure. 

Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.  Look at all the mentally-ill and self-destructive people who long for their own demise, perhaps because their lives are a kind of living hell.  I believe that we are given additional opportunities to return to physical life and to do whatever we didn’t accomplish before, to learn what we could not understand previously.   Karma is not about punishment; it is about learning and growing as an individual.  Death is the next great adventure.

Why is no discrimination applied to the administration of public healthcare?  I don’t care if those who pay for their own healthcare choose to lead unhealthy lifestyles, but why must the kindly taxpayer foot the bill for those who’ve chosen not to take reasonable care of their own bodies?  I understand it seems “mean” to allow some to die, but this is basically allowing them to face the consequences of their own actions, to be accountable.  This is the way of nature; those who are defective are eliminated.  It’s called natural selection.  No one forces a person to drink to excess, to consume drugs, to overeat, to consume junk food, to damage their immune system with massive amounts of sugar, or to refuse to exercise.  And once these self-abusers are in dire straits, and decide they suddenly care about the body they never wanted, is it right for us to say, “There, there, honey, we’ll make it all well, and you won’t have to pay for anything?”

If there is no accountability, will people just continue to assume that they can do anything they want and that kindly Uncle Sam will just put them back together and make them all well?

I had two elderly neighbors in previous years who ate like they were still teenagers.  The woman was in her 70s, and the man was in his 60s.  Both were overweight and had multiple health problems.  They both laid around watching TV all day, and they only moved to get food, to go to the bathroom, or to go to sleep.  I tried to tell them that when you get older, you can’t eat pizza and fast food all the time; that it just wasn’t good for you.  I even brought them some vitamins.  One day, the woman fell off her recliner, and she was likely dead before she hit the floor.  The EMTs found a piece of pizza underneath her when they rolled her over for resuscitation.  The man’s health has been in steady decline and he is now in a locked ward for Alzheimer’s patients.  Is this what you want to happen to you? 

Guess what?  If you take care of your body, it will take care of you!  It irritates me no end that because of my age group, I have to pay $300 a month for health care insurance, yet I am the healthiest person I know!  I’d like it if insurance companies are going to discriminate if they evaluate the state of someone’s health rather than judging them by their age and the zip code of their residence.  Healthier people should be charged less!  I’ve been a health nut most of my adult life and it’s paid off.  I have all my body parts and all my teeth.  I’ve never been in a hospital as an adult for an operation.  Is it possible that taking care of yourself will pay off in better health?  You betcha!

Should I have to pay for those people who haven’t taken care of themselves?  I don’t think so.  If no one wants to volunteer to do that, then why should the kindly US taxpayer have to foot the bill?  Let those who never cared for themselves die, or find some private party to pay for their maintenance.  It’s only right.  If you don’t care for yourself, why should anyone else care for you?

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