Who Will Die?

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"Doctors know some patients needing lifesaving care won’t get it in a flu pandemic or other disaster." So begins an article on guidelines for deciding who will die. Who is creating such guidelines? The Department of Health and Human Services, The Department of Homeland Security, The Centers for Disease Control, and "the military." The only infectious disease cited in the article was SARS, a non-performer as diseases go, so what are they thinking about?

I have written about MRSA in this space a number of times. It is a genuine epidemic that state agencies would rather not discuss; it didn’t come from Asia, after all, and those same agencies are largely responsible for it. Does that mean if grandma gets MRSA she’s history? Maybe so.

I have mentioned VRSA a few times. It’s the variety of staph that can emerge after treating MRSA with Vancomycin. As far as I know it’s still confined to hospitals, as is another resistant bacteria called VRE. However, recently I read about another one that got out. It’s an old time bacteria called Clostridum Difficle and there is a deadly mutation running rampant across the country.

There is no question that these bugs were born and raised in hospitals. The number-one need is to disinfect hospitals and keep them disinfected. That is neither easy nor cheap, but it is not impossible. New products and services are becoming available. Here is a stabilized bleach wipe for cleaning hard surfaces. I ordered it on Amazon. Here is a fogging service specifically designed to disinfect hospital rooms.

But I digress. The "flu pandemic" mentioned above refers to Bird Flu, of course, the favorite political pandemic du jour. In ten years Bird Flu has infected 348 persons and killed 216 in 14 countries. In 2005 MRSA infected 94,000 and killed 18,250 in the US alone. Which one is a problem?

The article I began with also mentioned "or other disaster." Once again I wonder what they are thinking. Another Katrina? Civil insurrection? Banking collapse? Or maybe the onslaught of baby boomers in the Social Security and Medicare systems. Like the war against terra, they mumble words that could mean anything.

These "guidelines" do challenge my understanding of humane and competent medical practice. I see these armchair practitioners designing the fate of millions bit by bit and undermining the Western traditions of medicine. Certainly they have witnessed the bovine acceptance of TSA terrorism, police terrorism, military terrorism, so they can safely assume the people will accept the deliberate neglect unto death of the old, feeble, sick, or poor. It’s easy for a politician to promise one thing and deliver another. Free universal health care sounds great until you find out, too late, that you’re scheduled to die.

Robert Klassen [send him mail] retired from a forty-year career in critical-care respiratory therapy. He is the author of five books, including Atlantis: A Novel about Economic Government, and Economic Government, which describe a solution to the problem of political government. Here’s his web site.

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