Monday, July 20, 2009

Talking Back to Peter Singer


Thanks to Stephen Drake, I've learned that it is possible to leave a comment on Peter Singer's "rationing health care" piece in the New York Times.

It's interesting to me that Singer receives a significant amount of support, although there are several who mentioned the elephant in the room: health care is already rationed using the "ability to pay" as the mechanism. That is true, of course, somewhat so even when a person is covered by Medicare. The only true socialized medicine we have in the USA operates under the auspices of Medicaid, but no one sends a Medicaid patient to Memphis to secure a liver transplant.

Here is the link to leave a comment.

Here is my comment, mainly a restatement of yesterday's blog post.
There is simply no valid means of mathematically objectifying a person’s subjective appreciation of his or her life. If we lose our moral compass and head down this ethical detour, we should not limit to the QALY standards to people with disabilities; we should apply it to everyone. By that means, Singer can weed out people who are unhappy because of racial or religious discrimination, because they feel they are trapped in lousy jobs, or because they never got their big break in Hollywood.

And then of course, Singer can move on to using QALY in his quest to bring euthanasia into the health care dynamic.
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