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"Bad Medicine"

A friend writes 
that my sister was lucky to be in the medical institutions that abused her, 
"because in some country's the system is worse". 

He says: 
Profit makes the world go 'round. 

I say: 
Profit mindedness should have limits. 

He puts in nicer, but his bottom line is: 
There's nothing wrong with rich people getting the best medical care, 
and the rest of us should hang around the Emergency Room and hope. 

My friend is in a position in life 
that is conducive to profit-is-all reasoning. 
We make the logic fit whatever serves our own purposes. 

I know how the other half lives. 
I know sick seniors who can't afford needed medicine. 
I have seen the terrible hospitals and nursing homes firsthand. 
It's not as easy or simple as some people think. 

He says: 
The government can't do everything. 

I Say: 
Of course the government can't do everything, 
but it does a pretty good job for the chosen people. 
Medical care should be a priority. 

He says: 
"Check out the medical care in England or France, or Germany. 
You will have to wait your turn for a heart operation, months or years. 
Same with Canada. Take a number." 

I say: 
In this country, if you can't cough up a couple of hundred thousand, 
you don't get the operation at all, even if you're first in line. 
I have decided not to be an organ donor, 
because only the rich could get the transplant. 
It sure wouldn't go to my family. 

He says: 
Profit is an incentive to develop medicines. 

I say: 
Profit can also be an incentive NOT to cure diseases. 
The Free Market is amoral. 
The trick is to be on the side of it that benefits. 
That is often, but not always, an accident of birth. 

He says: 
Without profit there would be no money to educate great doctors. 

I say: 
Education without compassion does not make a great doctor. 
Many great contributions to humanity have been created 
without a buck dangling on the end of a stick as incentive.

Yes, I said he's a friend. 
We've been friends for many years, 
and I don't let opinions spoil relationships, 
if I can help it. 

Copyright  April 8, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.


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