Sunday, November 9, 2008

"A Moral outrage", Revisited

On February 8, 2008, I documented the case of a British woman, Debbie Hirst, who was denied the cutting edge cancer treatment she needed to treat her breast cancer. Though she was willing to mortgage her home in order to be able to pay for the treatment with her own money, she was legally prohibited from doing so by Britain’s National Health Service because it “would violate the philosophy of the health service by giving richer patients an unfair advantage over poorer ones”.

Egalitarianism is the doctrine that holds that the individual achievements of life-promoting values is a vice. No one should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of his own efforts, as long as there is someone else who has not achieved the same values. Virtue is thus turned into a noose around the necks of anyone who possesses ability, ambition, intelligence, independence, good fortune…to the extent that they possess it. Their right to life is to be sacrificed to the extent that someone else...anyone else...does not possess those virtues and values. If you want to see the naked essence of altruism…the view of man as a sacrificial means to some “higher” good…this is it. The “poorer ones” have nothing to gain from the denial of the “richer patients” right to get the treatment they need. Their lives are to be literally sacrificed for no reason whatsoever, in the name of “fairness”. Egalitarianism is the governing “philosophy” of the NHS.

So I am pleased to report a bit of good news here. So-called “top-ups”…the bizarre name given to the practice of individual human beings exercising their inalienable rights to act on their own judgements, by their own efforts…will now be “allowed”. According to the BBC, “The bar on topping up NHS care by paying for drugs not available on the health service is to be lifted under plans drawn up by ministers in England.”

The lifting of the ban will come with multiple strings attached, as one might expect. “But strict rules are to be applied meaning patients will also have to pay for staff time and the scans and blood tests associated with the extra care.” This, despite the fact that the patient will still be heavily taxed to support the NHS.

Such is the nature of a system where the individual works to earn his health care dollars, but government bureaucrats make the individual’s healthcare decisions.

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