December 2, 2009
ObamaCare and the Value of Human LifeBy Scott Lazarowitz
President Obama's push for government-controlled medicine has passed the House, passed an initial hurdle in the Senate, and will now be considered by the latter. Some people are worried that such a government takeover of the medical and insurance industries could include "death panels" and possibly force taxpayers to fund abortion coverage, as well as violate the sanctity of doctor-patient confidentiality, but there are more philosophical questions here.
Just how much concern for the health care of all human beings does the Obama administration actually have? How much do they really value human life?
One of the unfortunate consequences of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized the killing of the unborn prior to a particular stage of development, was the ideology of placing a greater value on some human beings than on others. Administration officials' views on medical treatment and on the abortion issue are revealing.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the White House's Health Policy Adviser, has repeatedly stated that certain people shouldn't be treated equally by a government health care system. He advocates "allocating and rationing" of services, particularly by age and disability. This kind of policy conflicts with government's constitutionally mandated obligation to enforce "equal treatment under the law."
One of Dr. Emanuel's more disturbing views is that it's more important for a doctor to consider what's good for the community than for an individual when treating an individual patient. This implies that if an individual is not useful to the community, he has less value as an individual and may not be as worthy as others for medical treatment.
Regarding the abortion issue, as part of an argument for legalized abortion (just prior to the Roe decision), White House Science Czar John Holdren wrote in 1973 that certain factors such as "early socializing experiences" are required to consider a born infant a "human being." Just being born does not suffice.
President Obama has exhibited a devaluing of not only the unborn, but also of accidentally born and living infants, as seen from his opposition to the "Born Alive Bill" while in the Illinois State Senate.
These are the government officials who desire control over the health care of 300 million Americans.
When we have public officials such as Obama who devalue human life based on being at a less advanced stage of growth and development, and officials such as Emanuel, who devalue an individual who doesn't qualify for a government agency's requirement for rationing, we have a problem.
A few months ago, Rush Limbaugh was unreasonably criticized for his objectively noting the similarities between ObamaCare's "socialized medicine" and the socialized medicine of Nazi Germany. A good way to actually expand on that comparison is to recall how past governments valued human life in the context of medical care.
In Russia, for example, according to Anna Ebeling of the Foundation for Economic Education, there was a distinct contrast between how the state respected the dignity and value of people in the old Russia as compared to the "factory-like" hospitals and medical clinics of the Bolsheviks' communist, utopian "health care for all" scheme.
And in the Nazi socialized medical system to which Limbaugh referred, the regime categorized people, and it was in "Germany's best interest" to rid the country of "undesirables."
No, I'm not comparing the Obama administration to Nazis, but this is a time of great moral ambiguity in our country. World War II and Nazi Germany represented a turning point in history, as did the Supreme Court's ruling permitting the destruction of unborn human beings until they reach a particular stage in their lifespan.
Since the Roe decision, our culture has further degenerated to the point where immediate gratification is given greater value than life itself. The id controls individual decision-making, and personal responsibility is all but absent.
These past few months, we have seen the most powerful public officials' contempt for our rights as human beings in broad daylight. It is degrading when citizens are treated like livestock herded into a barn, without any respect for the inherent value of human life. This is a recurring theme in the history of governments.
Those who crave a government-compelled monopoly over our health care cannot logically value human life, as such a power-grab results in the invasion of every individual's natural, inalienable rights to life and liberty. A human being has a right to live, a right to choose his doctor, a right to doctor-patient confidentiality without government officials' access, and a right to have or not to have insurance.
In other words, we have a right to medical freedom.
It is a matter of basic human rights.