Monday, September 19, 2011

Squirrel ramblings:
I read a post on another site that said that certain health benefits should be denied to smokers, because they were not taking care of their own health, which made me think about the slippery slope that could occur with this kind of thinking. Here's part of my reply:

I have a problem with your statement that "chronic smokers may disqualify themselves from certain healthcare benefits", because you don't specify WHICH benefits. A lung transplant, yes, because if they continue to smoke, the lungs will not keep them alive for very long, and those lungs could have gone to someone else who would take better care of them, but what OTHER benefits?

My concern is that, as soon as bureaucrats start making medical decisions, they start to put people in boxes, and then there are always people who fall between the cracks. I remember, in the early days of dialysis, there were hospital committees who made the decision about who would get dialysis and who would die. One of the arguments for the choice was, a man who had a family should get dialysis, but a childless woman should not. (The govt. is still discriminating in favor of those with children -- look at the child tax credit, which goes to rich families with children but not to poor people who are childless!)

And then, if we can deny benefits to smokers, we are on a slippery slope that will surely include denying benefits to the obese, many or most of whom, in spite of popular public opinion, really do NOT overeat themselves into obesity (except insofar as they follow the govt.-sponsored guidelines to eat a lot of carbs, and not enough protein). Obesity is a FAR more complex issue than most people are willing to believe, and if we GET the obese, who is next? The disabled, especially because many of them can't work, and therefore don't contribute to society? The elderly, because they have too many illnesses -- time for them to die anyway? Obviously being a bit sarcastic here, but I AM afraid of creeping "healthism", which is a word I just made up!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you Natalie (but please don't tell anyone!). I am not into denying healthcare to anyone. Like you, I can't see giving a smoker a lung transplant, but that doesn't mean they should not get other treatments.