Natasha Richardson and Universal Healthcare

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I presume that most of you by now have heard about the tragic, untimely death of actress Natasha Richardson. The following (I no longer have the link) was reported yesterday:

“The statement did not give details on the cause of death for Richardson, who suffered a head injury when she fell on a beginner’s trail during a private ski lesson at the luxury Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. She was hospitalized Tuesday in Montreal and later flown to a hospital in New York.” [emphasis mine]

I’m sure that I’m not the only one of us LRC blog folks who, upon learning the above information, thought something to the effect: Why did she have to be flown to a “greedy capitalist pig/awful healthcare system” New York City hospital when she was already in a “progressive/universal healthcare” Canadian hospital—especially considering the delicacy and seriousness of her condition?

But, of course, that’s not the issue to be concerned with according to the Establishment. The issue is, you guessed it, whether it should be MANDATORY to wear ski helmets when skiing:

” “Richardson’s shocking death greatly heightened the debate over skiing safety. Quebec, for instance, is considering making helmets mandatory on ski hills. Jean-Pascal Bernier, a spokesman for Quebec Sport and Leisure Minister Michelle Courchesne, said Thursday the death of Richardson at a Quebec resort has added impetus to plans [emphasis mine] but says they it was [sic] already on the table.” “

UPDATE: A number of LRC readers have emailed me to inform me that my thought on why Richardson was moved from Montreal to New York City was (fortunately, I must say, in this instance) incorrect–although the readers had similar views to mine on Canada’s healthcare system. Richardson was allegedly already brain dead by the time she was put on the plane. Her family knew she was going to die, so they flew her back to New York City so that the rest of her loved ones could say goodbye to her.

LATEST UPDATE: Although my thought about why she was moved was incorrect, my general thought about the Canadian system possibly contributing to her untimely death was correct.

5:01 pm on March 19, 2009