Q Rating Governance

Further to this post, the Ace nails it:

How photogenic are you, and what causes do you believe in?  Before we decide whether or not to perform this pricey operation on you, we’ll all have to vote (I mean, the government will vote, on our behalf) about whether your life adds sufficient value to the lives of others, in terms of social welfare and social justice.

This is intolerable.  And it will only get worse.


(h/t Kathy Shaidle)

  1. #1 by Sean R. on June 6, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    I see a family challenging a bureaucratic dictate that says, without question, you must be 11 to get an adult lung. I haven’t seen the policy, but it is implied that there is little or no discretion in applying that standard. How is it unconservative to challenge a government dictate? How does enabling a ten year old to get on a list condemn an “adult” (uh, eleven year old???) to death? Let’s pick our battles. This isn’t it.

  2. #2 by Rob Huck on June 6, 2013 - 7:55 pm

    I certainly don’t want to give the impression I’m criticizing the girl’s family for challenging the government. Far from it.

    My concern, and that of Ace, is that the more government intrudes into our lives, the more decisions directly impacting us will be made through the political — and pop culture — lens. It will become who makes the best case in the bid to claim scarce resources, akin to ancient Romans trials being settled by the rhetoric rather than logic. That’s not justice, but a perverse popularity contest.

    We’ve seen in Canada how the politically connected are able to jump the queue. Ace is just warning that this is just the beginning of a series of pity cases gaining public support with more than a few demagoguic pols jumping on the bandwagon. Welcome to Obamaland.

    I do wish the girl’s parents and supporters wouldn’t be fighting for a free market in organic donation rather than insisting on government intervention in their favour, but that’s another battle.

  3. #3 by Sean R. on June 6, 2013 - 9:18 pm

    You haven’t responded to my points. The government is involved. Fight that, of course. But that is reality. The government has set rules – 11 and up – good to go. 10 and under – suck it up. This girl’s family is fighting that – THAT is a conservative, non-governmental position. Who the hell is the government to set such an arbitrary rule? How is it anti-free market to fight for what the individual desires? This girl’s family wants a transplant – so who the hell is the government – or you – to say she cannot be at least eligible to get one?

  4. #4 by Rob Huck on June 6, 2013 - 10:59 pm

    Sorry. That was a typo (damn iPad). I would (not “wouldn’t”) encourage them to fight for a free market.

    To your last point, if this girl gets a lung transplant because her family was able to pursuade a single government official, according to the scarce supply of lungs (made more scarce by the ban on free-market organ donations), everyone else on the waiting list will have to wait longer, which means that their own cances of survival have further diminished. You would be condemning someone else to die.

    As to the rules, I can neither defend them nor support them. They may appear arbitrary, but it is likely that some thought went into their development.

    However, regardless of who makes these limits — doctors, governments, or parents — there is every likelihood that there would always be some sort of policy in place which would limit someone’s chances in marginal cases such as these. To suggest otherwise would be to ignore obvious biological realities of transplanting adult organs in a child’s body.

    I wouldn’t doubt that there can always be a better solution out there, but the fact remains that there are no easy answers when it comes to little girls on their death beds.

    Which is why I support a free market in medicine. No system will be perfect for everyone, but if we are given choice, we can choose the system that suits our needs better than the next. And we wouldn’t have to worry about someone getting preferential treatment because of their ability to generate public and political sympathy.

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