When I was a young man, birth control and abortion became major issues. It was the 1950’s, I was in college and law school.
I believed that life began at the moment of conception. I was pro life.
Since that time, my thinking has evolved. By the late 1980’s, I had moved over to the other side. I firmly believed in a woman’s right to choose.
My primary reason for being pro life was not a religious one. I believed if we killed the young at that time, we would kill the old years down the road. When I was older.
At 85, I am older. And because of the coronavirus pandemic, society is mysteriously considering that medical care not be provided everyone. That it be limited to those who have a better chance for survival. Those younger than 85? The cut off point no one has yet decided. Guaranteed it will be close to 85.
Consideration will also be given to withholding medical care from those with a Charlson comorbidity index of 5 or more. Those younger, but who have other serious illness which will kill them sooner or later anyhow.
Why am I raising the issue now? Simply because it is in our faces. We are eyeball to eyeball with it.
Some may be thinking about the issue. Most not. The shock will be horrific. It may be right around the corner. As close as to 2-4 weeks away.
The coronavirus numbers reported over the weekend indicated to me it was time for the open discussion. Perhaps too late.
Over the weekend, the U.S. hit in excess of 11 million cases. One million were added last week in less than 7 days. The numbers shot up to 11 million less than 1 week after it hit 10 million.
No end appears in sight. The numbers are surging. Faster than ever before.
Hospitalizations have risen. Dramatically. As of yesterday, more than 69,000 people were hospitalized in the U.S. Hospitals are reaching the breaking point. In addition to insufficient beds, doctors and nurses are being overworked. Supply shortages beginning to appear.
The solution is some have to be denied medical care. Rejected on the steps of the hospitals. Young being favored over the elderly for treatment because their generation has a better chance of surviving.
Some examples where medical care had to be selective. Not all coronavirus cases. The problem the same, however.
Several months back when Italy was in dreadful shape, it is now slowing being revealed hospitals decided 2 groups would be denied treatment. Those older than 80, those who had a Charlson comorbidity index of 5 or more.
Remember Katrina. New Orleans was suffering a total power failure. The hospitals were overwhelmed, the heat was overburdening. The hospitals could not treat all those requiring attention.
Washington State at one point was discussing behind doors when their hospitals were becoming overwhelmed, who would receive medical care and who would be refused.
Even Auschwitz and the other Nazi concentration camps had a selective system as who was to be gassed. If an individual had a profession or trade useful to the Germans, they were permitted to live. Doctors, scientists, and the like. Attractive young ladies also. To entertain German soldiers in the bordellos located on camp grounds.
Who decides? The thought is doctors and nurses. Doctors who were sworn to save lives will now be required to decide who is to die.
Some doctors or nurses may very well refuse to make that judgment. It violates their lives of work and dedication to saving people’s lives.
Triages may first be established. Small groups of doctors and nurses. To make the decision process more palatable. Note that the need for decision making will be based on a lack of beds, equipment and personnel. Imagine! A person refused attention because of a lack of a ventilator.
The thought occurs as to how older doctors and nurses are to be treated. Realize there can be no exceptions. There must be consistency. Everyone must die. Including the older doctors and nurses who returned to work during the epidemic.
Should people be told why they are not being admitted to a hospital or receiving sufficient care at home? A serious question.
I believe the answer to whether a person lives or dies should belong to the patient. It should be recognized as a right equal to any other.
Age or health should not alter a person’s entitlement.
Heavy stuff being considered here.
Restricting people from accessing medical care is around the corner.
Permit me to conclude with those I hold responsible for our nation being placed in this position.
First, Trump. For failing to recognize coronavirus was a dangerous threat and have dealt with it. He never really has. He left our people vulnerable when he could have taken steps to minimize coronavirus potential as a killer.
Then there are the American people. Appears half or close to half think they have “rights” not to wear masks, social distance, etc. Caring not for those they come in contact with.
I normally end with “Enjoy Your Day!” Can’t today. Not with the solemn message presented.