The otherization of unvaccinated people is proceeding quickly
In America, a medical ethicist says it's fine for primary care practitioners to refuse to treat unvaccinated people. In France, older people who don't get their boosters will be denied access to amenities. And in Austria, unvaccinated people will be confined to house arrest. For a disease with a minimal mortality rate for healthy people under 60, the race to otherize them continues unabated.
Ever since I learned about Peter Singer, a chaired professor of bioethics at Princeton University, I've been deeply suspicious about ethicists. Singer, after all, is simultaneously the ur-source for the animal liberation movement, which tries to give animals the same legal status as humans, and the man who believes that parents should have up to a month to determine whether to euthanize a newborn infant because of physical or mental imperfections.
Meanwhile, a little over a decade ago, in England, the land of socialized medicine, Baroness Warnock, described as "the influential medical ethics expert," announced that elderly people suffering from dementia should be encouraged to get euthanized. "The 84-year-old added that she hoped people will soon be 'licensed to put others down' if they are unable to look after themselves."
Whatever medical ethics is, if one judges by these two people, both of whom are leaders in their fields, it doesn't align with actual morality and human decency.
Those of us who remember the rise of AIDS also remember the ethical issues associated with it. AIDS was a disease with a 100% fatality rate back in the day and was transmitted through bodily fluids, especially blood. Barring hemophiliacs, the people who got AIDS were almost entirely gay men, especially gay men who engaged in extravagant sexual orgies, and intravenous drug–users. More than most diseases, AIDS was a lifestyle disease that people could avoid through abstinence or monogamy, and not shooting heroin.
The power of the gay lobby (which is what made the LGBTQ+++ movement realize that it truly had political chops) was such that not only did it become impossible to turn away AIDS patients who could be said to have brought the disease upon themselves, but HIPAA made it illegal for any medical practice to make someone's health status public. Think about it: a contagious, completely fatal virus, that was the product of bad decisions, but that could not be turned away from medical care and that had to be kept private.
Image: Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D. Medscape screen grab.
Fast-forward to 2021, and we have COVID, a highly contagious, almost invariably non-fatal virus in the young (and youngish) and healthy. It seemingly can be treated in myriad ways, from buffing up our immune systems in advance, to taking medicines such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, monoclonal antibodies, and Pfizer's promised game-catching pill. (These medicines can be taken alone or in combination with each other and with various supplements.)
Please note that while I'm not a doctor, lots of doctors swear by them, and other countries rely on them. Meanwhile, the vaccines have diminishing efficacy requiring seemingly endless boosters. It also appears that they have fantastically high rates of bad reactions, including death.
You'd think all the rules that applied to AIDS would apply here: doctors must take all comers, nobody gets judged for being sick, and a patient's health status is private. But no. COVID is the new AIDS, only worse. If you're not vaccinated (never mind the vaccines' apparently limited usefulness), you have become a pariah.
Most recently, Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D. in the Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, opined that primary care physicians are perfectly within their rights to bar unvaccinated people from their practice to protect themselves, their staff, and people in the waiting room. Given that it's a certainty that these physicians and their staff are vaccinated, Caplan should explain why a patient's vaccination status should matter, but, of course, he doesn't.
Caplan won't admit it, but he knows that the vaccine doesn't protect against getting the virus. That being the case, distinguishing between vaccinated and unvaccinated people should be a non-issue. They're all likely to give or get the virus, and around 99% of them won't die. But Caplan still wants them treated as pariahs. (He concedes that hospitals can't turn them away but that, as between a vaccinated COVID patient and an unvaccinated one, it's okay for triage to assume that the unvaccinated person is going to die anyway.)
It's not just America that's gone insane with medical authoritarianism (or totalitarianism). We've already written about various Australian states that have turned into COVID police states. Well, Austria is following Australia's lead:
Beginning Monday, unvaccinated residents ages 12 and older will only be allowed to leave their homes to go to work or to purchase essential items. The lockdown is set to last 10 days and will not apply to those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently recovered from it, according to Reuters.
(At least Austria recognizes the natural immunity that evolution has built into our survival ability.)
In France, all those over 65 who haven't received a vaccination booster will lose their Health Passes (AKA their vaccination ID). That is, they too will be denied access to the world around them.
Again, and I can't emphasize this often enough, all this punitive action is in response to a disease that has, on average, a 99% survival rate. We have become a world of extraordinary cowards, so isolated from risk that even a statistically minor risk turns us into quivering masses of fear who will hand over every vestige of liberty to people who have proven, over the last almost two years, incapable of keeping us safe.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.