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.


Rob said...

My grandmother died of lung cancer less than 3 months after she was diagnosed with it. Yes, she went through radiation and chemo. It's my understanding that lung cancer - or at least certain types of it - is one of the fastest-progressing and deadliest types of cancer.

Any doctor who would make a patient he suspects of having lung cancer wait months for testing and treatment is worse than incompetent.

Ted said...

Thank you very for posting my story.

I am learning - even in Canada - our healthcare system is deadly.

The Canadian government is in a legal battle over its system that kills much more people than thought possible. What's appalling is Canadian politicians will let people die rather than admit error. I'm not kidding.

I certainly hope America untangles its healthcare system by de-regulating than by adopting Canadian style socialism.

I disagree with our Health care Minister, - I AM NOT PROUD OF OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. Deregulation is what I think both countries need, not more socialism. --- Ted.

Bill Brown said...

Another data point: "Patients forced to live in agony after NHS refuses to pay for painkilling injections"

Ted said...

I am still in this fight against America's proposed healthcare bill. The following is my latest.
I had sent this email to every single Pennsylvania Senator, Democrat and Republican.

I was thanked with standard form lettters but here is a sample from Senator Daylin, Democrat.

First my letter, then his reply.
Dear Daylin Leach, D.
The healthcare bill proposed by the Democrats should not pass. I am Canadian and I realize the proposal is a massive socialist take-over of healthcare functions that should be left in the hands of private decision makers like doctors and citizens.

Please do not be misled by Canadian politicians who have spoken of the“virtues of Canada’s healthcare system.” People die here waiting for rationed help.

Canada’s healthcare system in practice is debt ridden, smothering of doctor’s initiative and creativity. Growing local doctor’s complaints are not given much media and should be: shortages, high costs, and little freedom to truly help patients with serious conditions. Also,this healthcare system is sold as a solution for cost, but the burden weighted on citizens is bankrupting many.

My personal story how my father * in * law died because of government controlled healthcare should give you reason for not moving forward towards socialized medicine. My story is one of many untold stories here.

The Democratic proposal towards government controlled healthcare is not wrong in practice but noble in theory, but wrong in practice because it is cruel in theory, just like Russia’s policy theories.

Please do all you can in your district (17) to stop this insane proposal. Thank you,

Ted Harlson
Ontario Canada


From: Senator Daylin Leach (
Sent: March 6, 2010 8:16:56 PM


Thank you for your E-mail. But I think you are misinformed about the proposal pending in the US Congress. First, it is not like the Canadian system. It is not a single-payer system but rather one where people would still retain private insurance. So while many people we've heard from disagree with you about the Canadian system, the fact is that this bill is not a "socialist takeover of health care functions" at all.

The second point on which you are misinformed is the magnitude of the problem here. We have almost 50million people without any health insurance at all. About 45,000 people die each year in our country as aresult. Plus, even when people do have insurance, often as soon as they get sick the insurance company drops them leaving them without access to care. I know this is hard to fathom as nobody is denied coverage in Canada, but this is why it is so critical that we pass President Obama'sbill as soon as possible.

Thank you

I will answer him against his egalitarian, based on need grounds.

--- Ted.

Ted said...

I have been emailing my 'Canadian' experience here to different Tea Party groups, including SpeakerPelosi.dom, a website she is gathering for sad stories in healthcare.

I think it is worth repeating, especially to someone who is in a position to change healthcare.

Thanks again for this opportunity to voice my opposition to socialized medicine. - Ted.

Galileo Blogs said...


Keep up the good work. This battle is of life and death importance, literally.

Thank you.