Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Human Face of Socialized Medicine

Some weeks ago a reader of my blog posted the story of his father-in-law, who received treatment under Canada's system of socialized medicine. With his permission, I reproduce his story below. As President Obama this week begins his congressional push for further socializing medicine in America, consider the story of his father-in-law, and think about what socialized medicine will mean for you. Consider the "human face of socialized medicine." My response to him follows his story.


"I was born in Canada and have taken Canada’s socialized health care system for granted all my life that it was good - until we needed it.

My father in law, a Filipino immigrant, wasn’t feeling well so we took him in for a check up. We waited for a few more months until the testing could be arranged, and then more waiting since there were, “complications.” He had a lung cancer and we would have to wait for “6 to 8 months” before scheduling treatment.

I think he knew he was going to die and took charge. After a few months of constantly coughing, we tried to pester the doctors to speed up the waiting time. He tried his own remedies to alleviate his worsening condition like drinking Ginger soup but he could delay no longer. He and his wife decided to go back to the Philippines for treatment. The doctors there had immediately started treating him with radiation but it was already too late. He had developed a fast growing form of lung cancer and died a few weeks later.

The doctors seemed concerned but wouldn’t change the waiting times due to limited available machines and Canada’s administrative central control in this field.

The fact the Canadian health care system pretends to be based on equality hides the fact it is a socialist experiment that destroys human life and can never be sufficient enough to heal life when needed. The carrot in Canada’s healthcare system is the so called “affordability for everyone” promise, but it is an inherently bad way to go due to its built in socialization. Lives are constantly lost. Ted Harlson (Toronto, Canada)"


Galileo Blogs' response to Mr. Harlson:

Your story saddened and angered me. It is criminal that your father-in-law had to die because of socialized medicine.

Socialized medicine harms everyone, doctors, patients, and their families. It is deadly to human health, as your story illustrates. Socialized medicine kills.

The alternative is to recognize that doctors have the right to freely charge for their services, just as patients have the right to freely select their doctors. No one has a "right" to medical care. That care must be paid for, and when government is the payer, it means rationing care and killing off the "excess" patients that "the system" cannot afford.

No one worries about there being a shortage of cars. People do not wait in line to buy cars, clothing, or houses. That is because those markets are largely free. Each party voluntarily deals with the other. The result is an abundance of these goods willingly bought and sold in the marketplace, at times and in quantities, and at quality levels that both parties mutually and voluntarily agree on.

Recall the long lines in the Soviet Union for bread, shoes, and toilet paper. That was because their entire economy was socialized. Those Soviet-style lines have now come to medical care, because it too has become socialized in Canada and, soon I fear, the United States. Your father-in-law died waiting in one of those lines.

Please take your grief and fight back by denouncing this injustice, as you have by sharing your story.

Please accept my condolences and best wishes.