Surgery Center of Oklahoma Blog

November 29, 2011

Kevorkian, Rothbard and Burke

Filed under: Uncategorized — surgerycenterok @ 9:26 am

Here’s an interesting article.  What do you say to this man?  His son would be dead were it not for his $5000/week enzyme treatments.  He is advocating national health care with his son’s disease and the expense for treatment as the basis for his argument.  He also makes an interesting point about abortion, the logical extension of which I’m pretty sure he has not entertained.  Those nasty Republicans that defended his son’s right to life when he was just an egg, have recommended abandoning him now that he has a fatal disease, is his point.  I don’t think he is saying that his son would have been better off aborted, but I’m having trouble going anywhere else with his point.  Oh well, back to the top.  How do you respond to this man?

Let’s start with Rothbard.  Every time I read Rothbard, I find something I missed the first time around.  According to those that knew him he sat down at his typewriter and got after it without making revisions.  In his “Case Against the Fed,” he makes the point that governments are instituted to afford an advantage not previously available to those who formed the government.  If the goal of those wanting “government” was one from which all parties benefitted, then no “government” would be needed, as events would naturally unfold in mutually beneficial ways.  The very presence of government is inimical to the free market and man’s natural rights.  Not satisfied with events unfolding naturally, the author advocates “government,” conferring an advantage to him and his family not necessarily available to them without the coercive state.  The author of this article goes from “my son is sick,” to “you have to help me pay for his care whether you want to or not.”  Our family’s misfortune and that of any future family’s dealing with rare and fatal diseases are your problem, too.  It’s only fair!  Charity can’t be counted on or trusted.  Only the iron fist of government robbery will do!  He goes further, actually, by extending this robbery to those outside of his neighborhood, declaring the payment for his son’s care to be a national issue.  Property rights and subsidiarity out the window.

What would you do for your child?  Would you rob your rich neighbor?  Would you kill your neighbor to get the money needed for a medical treatment for your child?  What rules govern society?  How can this man’s child have a right to something the realization of which can only be attained by the violation of another’s rights?  Or as Edmund Burke (1729-1797) said:  ”All writers on the science of policy are agreed, and they agree with experience, that all governments must frequently infringe the rules of justice to support themselves; that truth must give way to dissimulation, honesty to convenience, and humanity to the reigning interest.  The whole of this mystery of iniquity is called the reason of state.  It is a reason which I own I cannot penetrate.  What sort of  a protection is this of the general right, that is maintained by infringing the rights of particulars?  What sort of justice is this, which is enforced by breaches of its own laws?”  ”I can never believe that any institution, agreeable to nature, and proper for mankind, could find it necessary, or even expedient, in any case whatsoever, to do what the best and worthiest instincts of mankind warn us to avoid.”

Then there’s this.  Has this man considered the reasons for the high cost of his son’s treatments?  Could the FDA be partly to blame, as the company that makes his enzymatic treatments attempts to recapture the homage extracted from them by this corrupt organization?   Or how about the entire concept of intellectual property and the virtual monopoly that the government patent office has granted this company for the production of this particular enzyme?

Or how about this….how long do you think this man’s son would last under the national health care scheme that he is advocating?   The death panel recommendations are coming to light in spite of all of the attempts to deny that they exist.  I can hear someone telling this man…”there are so many children with treatable asthma that require our help we simply do not have the resources to treat your child’s expensive illness.”  Or to another family,”we can’t operate on your child’s brain tumor because the patients with Gaucher’s disease have drained our resources.” Resources are limited, and therefore, we must live by rules that take that obvious fact in to account.  That individuals should be able to dispense with their own property as they see fit is the most civilized and advanced approach ever tried, and , I would argue, the only moral and ethical one.  For someone to have control of another’s property or maintain the ability to “tap” into another’s stash at will for whatever personal circumstance they may encounter is a throwback to tribalism.

I feel terrible for this man and his child.  But, ironically, his recommendation of national health care would result in the certain death of his son, I believe. People in the U.S. are charitable but are restricted in their ability to be charitable to the extent that they are fleeced by government at all levels.  More government involvement in health care is not the answer for anyone, ever.  Violating the property rights of one individual for the benefit of another is never ok.  Never has been and never will be.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

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1 Comment »

  1. I sympathize with the man and his plight. He should read about Andrew Lanese in Ontario, who had (perhaps he’s still alive, I don’t know) Hunters Syndrome but the Ontario Health Insurance Plan denied coverage for the drug he needed – Elaprase. The OHIP plan denies coverage for so many drugs and procedures yet there is no competition – although people do have private drug coverage for cancer drugs and others not paid for by the province. My opinion is we should not be reliant on ANY third party, except maybe charity. Insurance should go back to being precisely that – not the maintainance crap it has been since the 60s.The US needs more free market reforms and I applaud your efforts!

    Comment by Kartik — November 29, 2011 @ 11:30 am

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