Friday, July 17, 2009

Peter Singer on Health Care rationing: and infanticide is also OK

Preference Utllitarian philosopher Dr. Peter Singer has an op-ed in NYT (h/t Hube) regarding the fact that the United States must ration medical care via government decree.

I will deal with that issue at length a bit later today or sometime tomorrow.

Now, however, I'd like to point out to you Dr. Singer's longheld views on the morality of killing newborn babies [this particular quotation comes from 1980; Dr Singer has reiterated it many times since]:

This deals with the central point to which Hart objects. Two of his comments on the application of my views can be replied to more briefly. First, he is broadly correct when he says that in my view the secret killing of a normal happy infant by parents unwilling to be burdened with its upbringing would be no greater a moral wrong than that done by parents who abstain from conceiving a child for the same reasons. I say "broadly" because one should also take into account the fact that a normal infant can be given up for adoption. Hence there is a better option available to the parents of the infant, one which is not available to the parents who refrain from conceiving, unless the woman is willing to go through pregnancy and labor in order to give the child up for adoption. That requires a moral sacrifice which it is difficult to blame a woman for refusing to make. No such sacrifice is required of the parents who are imagined to be contemplating killing their infant.

Even with this caveat, my view will appear shocking to most readers, as it apparently does to Hart. But is it wrong? I still have not seen a good reason for differentiating morally between the two cases (other than "side-effects" like the factor just mentioned) and in the absence of a good reason for taking a different view, I persist in my belief that the morality of the two acts is not intrinsically different.

One might be forgiven for suggesting that a philosopher who does not find a moral difference between contraception and infanticide is not the best person to be drawing up the principles by which government should ration life-saving medical care.


Anonymous said...

There is no rationing of health care in other countries, this is just another scary lie the repukes want to put out. Rationing of health care is already occuring, by those big insurance companies like Cigna who permit people to die on the operating table. A 17yr old was denied a kidney transplant and the doctors and nurses in California rallied to her aid, and finally the for profit company agreed to deliver....she died 2 hours later. That happens everyday in Amerikkka under the republican for profit hustlers who want the hustlers to remain stealing our health care dollars and delivering them up to other filthy rich shareholders.

tom said...

"There is no rationing of health care in other countries,"

Keep telling yourself that - it will make it true.

Meanwhile talk to some actual Canadians or Brits. Preferably ones who need "elective" care like hip/knee/elbow surgery or replacement. Or treatment for macular degeneration.

"That happens everyday in Amerikkka under the republican ..."

So much for Regime Change you can believe in. Apparently the Republicans are still running things.

Anonymous said...

Tom:if you dare to find the truth you would search for it, instead of going to the corporate insurance company websites and their lobbyists. Get some real information instead of spouting republican talking points. There are hundreds of thousands of americans who work overseas, some for america companies. They were polled, known of them would give up the health care system in Europe for the pathetic, inefficient, fragmented health care system of the US. People are dying because these greedy monsters want a profit over people they are contracted to protect. People like you who think the corporations are going to continue paying for you...check the statistics. More and more corporations are dumping their employees, or they put them in a pool. If an employee gets seriously ill, the company dumps the group. The small business people of this country will be the winners. But you wouldnt know that cuz your so stuck on your uninformed, uneducated talking points.

By the way TOM, no one is asking for a Canadian or a British model. Britian has the worst because the government pays the doctors outright. Canada has a different system, but there is no rationing of care. They have triage method the sickest go first, like emergency rooms in this country. The best plan is France. Netherlands and Swiss have for profit systems, but they are heavily regulated like utility companies. We want an american system!

You should ask why Japan is planning a single payer system for their nation?

As far as republicans being blamed, absolutely they have lobbyied against health care reform for decades, because they hate working people and their families. (useless eaters).

tom said...

Hint: When you call someone uneducated, it is much more convincing if you do so in a coherent sentence with all of the words spelled correctly.

But then I guess you're trying to remove all doubt.

Hube said...

Sure sounds a lot like a certain Mz. Allen there!

Anonymous said...

There are more MRI machines in Delaware than in all of Canada... but they don't "ration" They just have really long waiting lines.

Delaware Watch said...

I'm sorry, but where have you shown that Singer "supports" infanticide? All that you have shown is that he says his position on abortion (and mostly only his position) would be consistent w/ making a case for infanticide. But that is logically different than "supporting" infanticide.

Delaware Watch said...

"There are more MRI machines in Delaware than in all of Canada... but they don't "ration" They just have really long waiting lines."


Anais Draconathaere said...

I am curious....why is it that in the midst of a political discourse between people of different ideologies, the rhetoric becomes vitriolic and viciously personal? Is this an artifact of fear or ignorance?
Furthermore, regarding the health care discussion....people in favour of government control of the health care are quick to trot out the systems in place in countries such as France, the Netherlands, and Canada. Why is this problematic? These countries consist of primarily homogeneous populations whose numbers equal one of our states. The United States consists of a very large heterogeneous populations with widely variant health care needs. How best to serve this population? How about allowing local businesses and entities to offer health care to anyone in their neighbourhood who would like to sign up? Need proof of probability of success? What is more efficient...the privately owned, local business (maybe the corner grocery or the local realtor) or name any gov't entity...say the IRS?

Delaware Watch said...

"What is more efficient...the privately owned, local business (maybe the corner grocery or the local realtor) or name any gov't entity...say the IRS?"

Shall we count the multitude of businesses that start and fail in this number? Funny how you private sector fetishists tend to forget that demographic in your assessment of the superiority of your idol.

tom said...

"Shall we count the multitude of businesses that start and fail in this number?"

yes we should. and by the same metric, if government agencies were allowed to fail, damned few of them would still be "in business".

Anais Draconathaere said...

Hmmmmm....again with the personal insults....
Yes, some private businesses fail, many succeed. The point of my comment was not to venerate or idolize anything. The point was and is, if a person has a personal stake in the success of an endeavor, they are going to work much harder for that endeavor to succeed. People who have things given to them without any requirement from them, quickly become, not only dependent, but also inured with a sense of entitlement. By allowing local businesses or organizations to insure people outside of their employees or members, the risk factor is spread out, keeping costs lower. Does the current health insurance industry need to be re-vamped, it most certainly does. Is the national government a better solution to the current system? No, I don't believe it is. Can any of you folks that like to call names offer one single large gov't program that works better than its private equivalent?

Anonymous said...

The answer appears to be to allow those who support the government system to go into that system, and those who wish to stay in the private system the same right. I am a health care provider, and I hate to break this those who want the public option, but there is indeed rationing of health care in all countries who have socialized health care. It seems to me that those who want the socialized system are those who do not currently have health care. It makes sense to allow them to sign up for the public option, and leave the rest of us alone.