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How much is your life worth?

July 30, 2009

Putting a value on human life seems like dangerous territory to me. How do you measure the value of one person’s life over another?

If you have two similar people, yet one is dying, is that person’s life worth less simply because it will be cut short? I don’t see how we ever have the right to make that determination, but others think that is perfectly acceptable. Just read this article by Peter Singer. From the beginning Singer posits that there is a value to be placed on our lives. He laments the fact that health care rationing has become a ‘dirty’ word. He sees nothing wrong with it. He doesn’t mind that under a government-run health care system, politicians and bureaucrats get to determine how much your life is worth. They decide if the cost of treatment is too high, given your current life expectancy.

Now, this scenario wouldn’t bother me quite as much if it weren’t for the fact that in a system where government runs health care, it becomes increasingly difficult to find affordable alternate care. If the government won’t approve procedures or treatment, why would doctors offer it? Right now, if I were to require treatment that my insurance wouldn’t cover, I would have the option to find it and pay for it on my own. It’s not an ideal situation, but when your life is on the line, won’t you go to all sorts of lengths to preserve it? This is exactly why so many people come to the United States for treatments and procedures, because we actually offer them here. Doctors in their own countries don’t, because the government doesn’t approve them.

Is that the scenario we want to be faced with when our lives are on the line? I’m not ok with the government handing down death sentences.

~T the D

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2009 10:02 am

    Clearly legislator's lives (and by extension, those of their families) will be worth more in the system the government proposes. George Orwell (Animal Farm) wrote, "All Pigs Are Equal – but some are more equal than others.

    Forcing the president to accept the same level of crappy care as he plans to foist on the rest of us won't work because the elite will always have access to a better standard of care, to spite their assertions to the contrary.

    I suspect the life of a conservative blogger is worth a lot less than others in the new ObamaNaiton.

  2. Colin permalink
    August 8, 2009 6:13 am

    Rather than just repeating Sean Hannity talking points, how about listening to what Denis Cortese, President and CEO of Mayo Clinic, has to say.
    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10496
    Oh, BTW, the vast majority of Americans having to think about their death are seniors under Medicare. A gvt run program.

  3. Katherine permalink
    August 8, 2009 7:25 am

    Interesting interview Colin. Thanks for the link.
    I also agree about Medicare, I haven't seen any protests against that gvt run program.

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