Jay Livingston from Montclair Socioblog doesn’t think that the issue I previously discussed (here) is about “the right to die”.
I am certain that Blitzer did not mean that his hypothetical victim of illness wants to die any more than a careless driver who gets in an accident wants to die.
Which is hard to understand since he phrased it this way in his original post:
The question is not whether he should have bought insurance – of course he should have. The question is: given that he doesn’t have insurance, should society just let him die.
Should society let him die?
Well he made his choices didn’t he? I respect a person’s freedom to choose. That is the most fundamental right we have.
One of my favorite quotes comes from the incredible story of Viktor Frankel:
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Our freedom — our freedom to choose whether or not to do what it takes to stay alive. If you deliberately and knowingly chose to fore go the actions need to keep you alive, aren’t you choosing to die?
Shouldn’t we respect your right to die?
Medic Morgan has other thoughts on the subject:
That is not the argument at hand. Ron Paul was asked if a 30 year healthy male who had CHOSEN not to purchase health insurance suddenly became a vegetable on life support–racking up at least $1,500 in intensive care–should we just let him die? He can’t posthumously pay his hospital bills for being kept on life support.
First, lets note that Wolf Blitzer kept changing the question.
After setting up the person deliberately chose not to purchase insurance, Wolf stated “All of the sudden he needs it, he goes into a coma”. Later after Ron Paul tried to answer, it was “needs intensive care for 6 months”.
Well, very few people just drop into a coma. Most are conscious when they go to the hospital, wouldn’t you agree?
Every time I’ve entered the hospital, I’ve sign a statement of financial responsibility. I or my estate is obligated to pay for any and all charges occurred in my treatment, right?
So actually he can posthumously pay his bill.
And unless he has specified otherwise, every person knows that a hospital will do all it can do to save a life, up to and including being kept on life support
(I strongly encourage everyone to have a medical power of attorney and medical directives on record by the way. It is the responsible thing to do.)
This man, who could recover or could be a vegetable on life support forever, did not choose to die. He chose not to pay a couple hundred bucks a month for something he almost surely would never need. Are you saying that he did choose his fate? He chose to die by choosing not to get health insurance?
This is absolutely going to sound cold and callous but the answer is yes.
This hypothetical man chose not to take the steps need in order to insure his survival.
The idea that medical care is “something he almost surely would never need. “ is false. At one point or another everyone is going to need medical care.
I don’t care how you pay for that medical care. You can have comprehensive insurance, you can have catastrophic care insurance, you can pay for it out of your savings, heck…you can even put it on your credit card for all I care.
Or should the tax payers foot the bill for this man’s unlikely misfortune?
Needing medical care isn’t “unlikely”. If you can imagine yourself not needing medical care, you can imagine the opposite. In choosing to not take responsibility you are choosing the consequences. It really is that simple.
Please join the discussion.
By the way….Medic Morgan is a new blogger — just starting EMT -B and recently purchased her first firearm. I hope everyone will add her to their bookmarks or blog rolls. I’ve already bookmarked her blog.
You will be asked to sign an agreement regarding treatment consent and financial responsibility for expenses for which you are responsible, including services not covered by your insurers. Please read it carefully.