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 RandPeople should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.