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A powerful example….. January 25, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, Society.

…….of unintended consequences.  I don’t generally intend to get into politics too much on this blog, but the article linked below provides a concrete example of the sort of unintended consequences of government-run health care that put people in absolutely horrible situations.  In the US, a case like this is at present far less likely to happen, for as long as the parents are willing to try to pay the bills, their child would not be risked with a denial of treatment leading to forced death.

The government should never be put in the position of being able to make life or death health care decisions about patients.  The government has too many competing agendas to make a compassionate decision, and money will always trump all.  That is the reason I have blogged that the US Bishops (USCCB) has put themselves into a precarious position with their support for government funded health care in general.  No matter what type of health care bill gets passed into law, eventually, the government will come to dominate the US health care system and instances like this will become increasingly common.  It’s one of the unintended consequences that come about when one violates the core Catholic principle of subsidiarity, that decisions are always best made at the most local, personal level possible.  With any form of national health care, that simply will not be the case, and Catholic hospitals will find themselves pulling the plug on patients at government fiat. 

h/t culturewarenotes


1. Mary - January 26, 2010

I don’t think this is politics, it’s a LIFE AND DEATH issue.

In the linked story the woman labored for 40 hours before delivering her baby boy. In America, this is unacceptable. No woman is expected to labor for so long (that’s a full 40-hr work week for most people, all at once). An emergency cesarian would have been performed after maybe 4-8 hours, especially for a first-time mother.

In addition, I suspect the belt monitors were not used. These were placed over my belly as soon as I entered the labor room for each of my deliveries. Belt monitors are simple devices used to track the heart rates of both the baby and the mother. If the heart rates are not within the normal range, again, a cesarian would be performed.

So, government-controlled health care resulted in extended delivery, recusitation of a child just delivered because there is no heart rate, and now they want to pull the plug on an infant on oxygen and an IV for fluids??? In the US, this child still has a chance! This shouldn’t even be a story as either of the above precautionary methods would likely have changed the outcome.

In the US, these first-time parents would be at home holding their normal, healthy 3 month-old boy!

2. Mary - January 26, 2010

I want to add one more comment to go with my first comment.
Please consider anyone you know or have heard or read about who has had serious health issues. Three months in the hospital is precious little time for recovery, and this little child is showing signs of improvement.

Also, NOBODY deserves to have all food withheld. Any 3 month-old has to be fed.

Many people spend much more time and dollars (this child requires no surgery). A dear woman I know has spent much time and multiple operations after the initial heart operation because of a negative reaction to the medicines which caused her to lose both legs, parts of her hands, and soooo much therapy. And now, she is on her way to recovery.

Until someone is declared dead, and all means exhausted to revive the person, the doctor should NOT stop the fight for life. Is it not part of his OATH?

Government has no business in the medical field. And doctors should not give up hope, miracles are taking place every day!

3. tantamergo - January 26, 2010

I agree with you, MARY. I think it important to make clear that it was cost-avoidance that likely led to the ceaserian section not being performed in the first place and led to the 40 hour labor. A 40 hour labor is very rare in the US, I’ve never heard of one that long (maybe 18-24 hours, and generally only if the mother insists she doesn’t want a Ceaserian). So, cost avoidance led to this nightmare in the first place, and now the government, again with the cost-benefit data I’m sure clenched tightly in their bloodless hands, decides that this baby isn’t worth the effort. It’s an unintended consequence of government funded healthcare. If the government is involved, cost will always be first, not care, and not compassion.

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