Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Treat Your Prostate Well

"Men over the age of 75 should no longer be screened for prostate cancer....." is the first sentence of a story in the Aug 5th, 2008 Los Angeles Times. A front page story. Above the fold. It must be important.

Seems a federal panel (uh, yeah, another one of those!) says that the potential psychological and physical harm of seniors learning they have prostate cancer outweighs the benefits of treating it. Some doctors argue against treating prostate cancer in those over 75 because they might die from something else anyway. Think of the many and sundry implications of that mindset!

Anyone can die anytime from any of hundreds of causes, but if a guy gets shot in the leg do you just let him bleed because he might get hit by a car tomorrow?

Other doctors, fortunately, take the opposite view, saying that this is a ploy by HMO lawyers to save their firms' money, and that it's a form of ageism. It'd also be easy to make a case (since it was a "federal panel," that they want to exclude the elderly from treatment to save medicare money.

My view is slightly different. Many doctors, especially the federal ones, look forward to a fully socialized, nationalized medical industry. The realistic ones already realize that under socialized medicine, service to the public will and must deteriorate and ultimately be rationed. "Important people--politicians, and industrialists and businessmen who toe the line with them, will continue to get the best medical care. The rest of us will wait in a line. The only way the line will move forward, is when the dead are pulled out of the line in front of you.

In time, as medicine deteriorates, even medical care for the elites will slide, but the elites don't think that far ahead. It won't occur to an ex-President, for example, that after age 75, or 70, or however bad it gets, that he's just another old man.

Waiting in line.
"Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything--except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the 'welfare' of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only 'to serve.' That a man willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards--never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind--yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on the operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he's the sort of man who resents it--and still less safe, if he's the sort who doesn't." --Ayn Rand
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


T. F. Stern said...

"The only way the line will move forward, is when the dead are pulled out of the line in front of you."

That is the future of medicine the closer we get to socialized medicine.

twc said...

Col, nearly 100% of people over age 65 in the US are covered by socialized medicine, which is exactly why the decree has come down.

Now, in fairness, part of the reluctance to mess with it is because prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer and generally takes a long time to kill you. I mean years.

I haven't read this decree, but when my dad had prostate cancer a few years ago, the doctor told him that he should take the cure because he was in good health.

The doc also told him that if he wasn't in such excellent health that he (the doc) would have advised against treatment, betting on the come that something else would get him first.

I'm not sure why the extablishment has decided that prostate screening should go, but it can't be for saving money. A PSA test cost next to nothing to administer. I get mine done every time I do a blood panel, but it can be done with a finger prick at any local health fair for about ten bucks.

I remember when they realized that you could detect prostate cancer this way. It was an amazing step forward in medical technology.

With a PSA test you know you've got a problem before it can be seen in any other way.

Doc WC says: Do It Today!

Had one lately?

Kent C said...

Rush got into this a while back. See second caller "Kevin":

In the last 25% of your life (look for actuarial tables to be skewed as well), you're not worth a trip to the doctor's office. Lol

The research was done by the still Leftist holdover bureaucrats of the EPA (it's not the only administration agency so populated - see Valerie Plame/CIA desk jockey ;-),2933,380447,00.html

When they start putting a cash value on your life, you know you're in trouble.

twc said...

Meant to add that Doctor Julie Ann (brave new world when you call your Julie Ann) says that prostate cancer screening is as important as breast cancer screening.

I listen to her counsel with respect as the only piece of dubious advice she has ever given is that one only needs a single glass of red wine a day to reap all the benefits to be had therefrom.

She's obviously misguided in this, but I can overlook it.

Hi Kent!

twc said...


Meant to add that Doctor Julie Ann (brave new world when you call your doctor by her first name, which is Julie Ann) says that prostate cancer screening is as important as breast cancer screening.

Lone Chatelaine said...

I cannot believe that ANYONE would want the government involved in their health care and medical decisions. I live in absolute total fear of that.

The two most scary things to me right now are government health care and Obama economics.

Those two things are more scary to me than the Cold War and worrying about a nuclear bomb ever were.

twc said...

Col, been meaning to mention that Hammer of Truth is out of business these days.

twc said...

The two most scary things to me right now are government health care and Obama economics.

Better buck up, babe. You've already got half of the former and you're getting the latter come November. :-)

Col. Hogan said...


I told that to an ex-pat Canadian once, and man did she go off! Had I been less a gentleman I'd have reminded her that she moved to the US.

Col. Hogan said...


The way medicine was up to about the mid 1970's, you went to the doctor, he did his thing, he sent you a bill, you complained about how much it was, then you paid it. Yourself or your employer might buy major medical insurance for the serious stuff, and Mom took care of the family's colds and flus herself.

They say everywhere that colon cancer is one of the most successfully-treated cancers on the list, if caught early. Now, they're saying that if you're old enough to be likely to get colon cancer.....die, you old fott!

Medicare ended all that. It allowed medical folk to increase their prices because no one was watching the purse strings. Medical people also had to raise prices to pay for the bureaucratic paperwork caused by medicare.

Now, no one can reach into his pocket and pay the doctor bills without wrecking the rest of the budget.

Col. Hogan said...

Lone Chatelaine,

Try to imagine the explosion that'd happen if a federal panel said the same thing about breast cancer!

Col. Hogan said...


The Rush link didn't go anywhere, but I read the Fox News article. Chilling! It also sounds like if one's past his prime, he's pretty worthless.

Kent C said...


Re:Rush link...
Sorry 'bout that (and to others...) change the 'member' to 'guest' in the url should get you there.

And yeah, there is that 'dimishing return' aspect to all of this. For some reason, (actuarial math), one is not as likely to reach their next birthday, the older they get. :-)

Chopped Liver said...

Hi Kent!

Guess KC doesn't read the comments. :-)

Kent C said...

Hi Chopped Liver! Missed that one, twc...

MK said...

Socialized medicine, it's something the left are hell bent in trying to force upon you. With Obama, it's a real possibility, whether you want it or not.