Friday, August 21, 2009

The Limits of Pragmatism

Neatly summed up by Rahm-a-Jamma's brother, Zeke the MD:

“[S]ervices provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens [in the body politic] are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” --quoted in RedState

In other words,

"We will spend money we don’t have to pay for health care, or we will prioritize who gets treatment. It is an inevitable fact of life that the more the government outlays to keep you alive, the more your life becomes subject to a cost/benefit analysis."

Kinda sounds like the Capitalist Mantra, eh?

Except I don't know any capitalists who apply c-b-analysis to their mother's life.


Jay Bullock said...

I was examining two different, abstract philosophical positions to see what they might offer in the context of redoing the health-care system and trying to reduce resource consumption in health care. It's as abstractly philosophical as you can get on a practical question. I qualified it in 27 different ways, saying it wasn't my view.
--Dr. Emanuel, trying to figure out how his words got used so baldly out of context, emphasis added

What? RedState is lying to you? You don't say ...

(See also here, here, and here, where he carefully and thoroughly explains why euthanasia should be illegal.)

Dad29 said...

Nice word-game, Jay.

You DO know that "euthanasia" is the deliberate outright KILLING of someone, no?

That's entirely different from "not guaranteeing care."

Jay Bullock said...

You do know that taking someone's words out of context and claiming they mean something the author explicitly denied (even the in the piece quoted) is a lie, no?

The right--and serial liar Betsy McCaughey is at the head of the list here (she is the one who originally cropped Emanuel's words)--is painting Emanuel as a cold-hearted pragmatist, to use your word. But he's not, as his logical and in places compassionate condemnations of practices like euthanasia shows. The others of my links--not that you bother with facts or anything--are specific refutations of the thrust of your post, including the sentences following the quote you have used here that show Emanuel is, in fact, not at all advocating what you think he is.

But the bullshit parade rolls on, I see, here at Dad29 ...

Dad29 said...

Yhe proper policy, in my view, should be to affirm the status of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia as illegal. In so doing we would affirm that as a society we condemn ending a patient's life and do not consider that to have one's life ended by a doctor is a right. This does not mean we deny that in exceptional cases interventions are appropriate, as acts of desperation when all other elements of treatment—all medications, surgical procedures, psychotherapy, spiritual care, and so on—have been tried. Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia should not be performed simply because a patient is depressed, tired of life, worried about being a burden, or worried about being dependent. All these may be signs that not every effort has yet been made.

By establishing a social policy that keeps physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia illegal but recognizes exceptions, we would adopt the correct moral view: the onus of proving that everything had been tried and that the motivation and rationale were convincing would rest on those who wanted to end a life.

So Jay, who's pushing the BS? Why, it's JAY!

"Illegal" but tolerated, for the 'right' reasons, of course.

Thanks for proving my case, Jay.