Chuck Colson on socialized medicine
There was an interesting BreakPoint commentary today about socialized medicine in Britain.
Bruce Hardy probably doesn’t have long to live. But he could live longer, if it weren’t for the attitude and policies of the British government.
As recounted in a New York Times article, Mr. Hardy has kidney cancer that has spread to his lung. His doctor wanted him to take an expensive but effective new drug that has been shown to delay cancer progression for six months.
But Her Majesty’s government refused the request. The Times reports: “If the Hardys lived in the United States or just about any European country . . . Mr. Hardy would most likely get the drug, although he might have to pay part of the cost. . . . But at that price, Mr. Hardy’s life is not worth prolonging according to a British government agency, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.”
(In a supreme irony, the institute’s acronym, NICE, is the same acronym C. S. Lewis used for the evil institute in his classic novel, That Hideous Strength.)
The Hardy case highlights many of the problems with socialized medicine: government rationing of health care, a lack of options, and an ultimate devaluation of human life. Remember, in most other countries, Mr. Hardy could have his treatment if he paid for part of it—but Britain isn’t even giving him that choice. The government makes the health-care decisions. It’s all out of his hands.
And the really scary thing is that other countries are starting to look to Britain as an example of how to manage health care!
Read the rest at Breakpoint.
Update: Based on information provided by my friend John, who actually lives in Britain, the NYT article on which the commentary was based was inaccurate. See John’s comment below.
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