Medical care and the rights of children/disabled people

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Cutten, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. I was wondering what people thought about this case:

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1574851,00.html

    As someone whose ethical philosophy is based on the idea of instrinsic rights, obviously I find this rather repellent. The most telling statement to me is the article saying "The ethics committee essentially did a cost-benefit analysis and concluded that the rewards outweighed the risks". No mention of consideration of the patient's rights. And this classic - 'Gunther also understands why the case has inspired such intense feelings—but notes that "visceral reactions are not an argument for or against."' Spoken like a loyal camp Kommandant's physician in chief - we must not let mere feelings like disgust, shock and horror prevent us from carrying out obscene medical mutilations of fellow human beings. That would, after all be very subjective and unscientific, wouldn't it?

    I think this is a very good illustration of the bankruptcy of ethical systems based on utilitarianism. Essential the justifications for the treatment are little different to those put forward by eugenicists in the 19th and 20th centuries. I mean perhaps we could do a "cost-benefit analysis" of people on welfare and work out how much they are costing us? Maybe the doctors would like to work out a way to "solve" that problem in their inimitable style? The thing that surprises me is there appears to be no law against this. In the land of lawsuits, where you can become a multimillionaire if you spill hot coffee on yourself or chain-smoke for 40 years, it seems strange that someone can be turned into a something out of a science fiction horror story by latter-day Mengeles, and yet the law of the land doesn't do anything to stop it. It also shows that the medical establishment need to do some serious thinking about their whole approach to ethics.
     
  2. Gladly pass along my ignorant thought.

    Our entire society has taken the "sorry, that's not my department" concept to a new level.

    The Dr can mechanically perform the function but sorry "ethics"? Not my department. As each part of our society becomes more specialized a bureaucracy is formed of "conceptual thinkers" like yourself for instance, who would like to put humpty dumpty back together again.

    Those days are gone.

    Why have they gone?

    Re-assignment of personal responsibility and accountability.

    Read a comment today, the hecklers stifled the speaker's freedom to speak, the hecklers replied "yeah but that is our freedom of speech".
     
  3. The people best positioned/informed to make these decisions are the parents and doctors who understand her condition and prospects for quality of life.

    Media who hype and stoke the 'firestorm of indignation' by prompting readers to silly, half-baked and often ideologically-driven conclusions is terrible.

    And Cutten - you are magnifying their dirty work by reposting this stuff.
     
  4. I am pretty sure it was Winston Churchill who said

    "A society is known by the way it treats its weakest members"

    While I cannot help every indigent person I meet, I try to do what I can, when I can.

    Frankly, there are folks right here on this site, whom I would step over on my way to take a piss. For some reason however, I just can't feel the same about the homeless or indigent.



    Steve