Who's Going To Pay For It?
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-07-11 08:26 by Karl Denninger
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Who's Going To Pay For It?
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This sort of article makes my blood boil.

Life has a way of reminding its benefactors of what an inexpressible miracle it truly is at times. Sometimes doctors play a critical part in making the miracle possible. And sometimes, the miracle comes even when the most well-meaning experts believe that science says there is no hope.

But somehow in the twisted, upside-down case of a little 11-month-old baby boy named Charlie Gard, doctors and the judiciary have said that, not only is there no hope, but rather than release Charlie to the care of his parents, they have also omnisciently decided to literally hold him hostage – insisting not only that Charlie must die but that he also must be in their "care" when he does. It is a case that rocks America to our core, because if something like this can happen across the pond, it can certainly happen here.

The "solution" being proposed is to grant him and his family permanent residency in the United States so that (1) they can travel here and, unsaid, (2) that we the taxpayers will wind up expending unlimited amounts of money on a futile "treatment."

There is a reason we should not permit drug advertising in the United States (it's banned in most other nations) and it's the same reason this sort of "law", if it was to pass, is a monstrously bad idea.  The reason is science is easily trumped by emotion and there is, in fact a scale between "worthless" or "futile" and "useful."

Charlie Gard has a terrible condition.  It is true that there is a treatment that can help some people with that condition.  Unfortunately, as the court records have shown, Charlie has the form for which there is no known therapy that has ever helped a single person suffering with it.  This condition is universally fatal; it's a genetic defect for which there is no cure as it is present in every cell in his body and which we cannot reverse.

But boy, he's cute.  Most babies are.  It's very easy to trigger the cute baby syndrome in humans, at which point you can tug on people's hearts and suspend their mental capacity.  That is what is going on here.

It is indeed outrageous if Britain is literally imprisoning that kid, refusing to release him to his parents.  The truth is probably materially more-subtle; it might be something along the lines of "he will die almost immediately if disconnected from the machines to which he is presently tethered."  However, irrespective of this his parents should be able to sign him out where medicine has no rational answer and take him home.  If he dies then he did not die by man's hand -- he died by God's.

There is a huge difference between "eugenics" -- or anything similar to it -- and this case, although the article quoted tries to make the moral equivalence.  Sorry, but nope.  There is no equivalence between a person who is able to survive on nothing more than the ordinary requirements for any carbon-based animal life form -- food, water, reasonable shelter and the routine disposal of bodily waste and someone who requires extraordinary technological intervention just to survive for a few minutes longer because their cells have a genetic defect which makes it impossible for that person to sustain the normal functions required to live.

Folks, this debate is one that nobody wants to have but we must all have it, and we must eject from the public square those who take the position propounded in the cited article -- whether they be Senators, Representatives, preachers or Presidents.  One has a right to life.  One does not have the right to steal unlimited amounts of money required to obtain extreme technological measures in order to sustain one's life.  Medical care is a service and one does not have the right to compel others to provide a service to you on other than mutually-agreeable terms.

We all begin dying the moment we are born.  Every one of us is born with an hourglass full of sand, representing time.  It bleeds off and eventually runs dry.  For most of us all but the last small bit of that hourglass is painted over, so we cannot see how much sand remains until it is nearly exhausted.  Most of us learn that we are low on sand months, days, hours and in some cases seconds before it runs out.

Sadly, some of those hour glasses have very little in them to begin with.  Occasionally we can add more sand to them through various measures.  Some are fairly ordinary; don't eat carbohydrates in any material degree, for example.  Others are a matter of risk:reward trade-off -- don't engage in anal sex, for example, or do take care of that aching tooth so it doesn't abscess and lead to a brain infection that kills you.  And still others require interventions that were impossible years ago, but now are not -- kidney transplants, to name one.

But when we get into the realm of interventions that technology has made possible we run straight into the not-insubstantial matter of cost.  We have a medical monstrosity on our hands that nobody will go anywhere near in the political or policy sphere because as soon as you do you're accused of trying to kill Grandma -- or Charlie Gard.

This is not only a false equivalence it's used as justification for literal armed robbery and, in this case from what I can discern outrageous abuse of a young child for profit.

There are, sadly, zero odds that Charlie Gard will be materially helped by anything medical technology can currently offer.  Again, there is no clinical record supporting the parents' and others' demands that he be given this "therapy" that has, according to the literature I've read, never successfully helped one person with the specific form of the condition he has and is not, even in the less-severe forms where it has provided benefit, actually arrested or reversed the condition.

Subjecting someone to a useless and futile medical procedure, no matter what it is, is abuse of said person.  When said person is on the verge of dying extending their suffering in this fashion is outrageously abusive to the point of being a criminal act.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

Allow Charlie to be at peace.

We do not have to like the fact that we all have that hour glass, but liking it and accepting it are two different things.

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Lenguado
Posts: 2046
Incept: 2010-01-12
A True American Patriot!
Orlando, FL
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My first thought on hearing about this poor child, and what the parents are trying to do was, 'As long as the parents are going to pay for it - or charitable contributions are going to pay for it, no problem. Let them bring him. BUT - if the plan is to put the expense on the American People, SORRY, but NO."

I am very much against Socialized Medicine - but in this case, since that is their system - the decision seems to be justified. Sad, but justified.

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they're saying "Kenyansian Economics". Grass Huts for everyone!
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Mannfm11
Posts: 5379
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DFW, Tx
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Trump said to bring him. I suspect, if asked, Trump would pay the bills. Otherwise, they probably aren't doing the kid any good, if there isn't a treatment.

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Tickerguy
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There is no treatment that will actually help.

There is one that will make everyone involved a lot of money.

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Winding it down.
Vernonb
Posts: 1817
Incept: 2009-06-03

East of Sheol
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Quote:
Subjecting someone to a useless and futile medical procedure, no matter what it is, is abuse of said person. When said person is on the verge of dying extending their suffering in this fashion is outrageously abusive to the point of being a criminal act.

Exactly. Furthermore if the people wanting to keep this child alive were FORCED to foot the bill perhaps their attitude might change. If the doctors and hospital had to eat this cost I know their attitude would be different.

Bring this child to the USA to steal from US Taxpayers? All involved should be locked up. If Trump wants to waste his own fortune then so be it but he has no right to demand the same of US taxpayers.

I'm sick of these "for the children" scams.

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"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Lobo
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There are so many things wrong with the situation that it makes me wonder about the soundness of Charlie's parents' connection to reality. They certainly seem to be more concerned about saving themselves from bad feelings than they do about Charlie's quality of life. Let the kid go to heaven. It is a hell of a lot nicer there than it is here.

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Dennisglover
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Huntsville, AL
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I suspect you're exactly right on that point, @Lobo!

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TANSTAAFL
Wakeupcall
Posts: 5092
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Hampton Roads, VA
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I believe his family has raised almost 2 million dollars in donations to pay for his treatment. That is why, imho, it is so outrageous that their court system is getting involved. Ominous.

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Tickerguy
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So they lied to people to get donations? Throw them in prison.

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Winding it down.
Wakeupcall
Posts: 5092
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Hampton Roads, VA
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I didnt bother reading the fund raising page, but i think the contributors know its a long shot. So i dont really know that they lied, maybe i missed that part, sorry if i did. I also agree that it is a tremendous waste of money and resources. I guess my point is, if they want to pay for treatment, so long as taxpayers, of any country, arent stuck with the bill, then let them go for it. No real difference than spending money on a vacation or sportscar. I think that McMath girl is also being supported by contributions. Since she is legally dead, i dont think insurance will pay anything.

My big concern with this is courts deciding who gets special treatments. I would bet my last penny that if it was a royal, the courts wouldnt have gotten involved. And to stop them from leaving the country?

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"The strongest memory is weaker than the palest ink" Chinese proverb
"The enemy of my enemy is my candidate" Random commenter
"Kennedy put a man on the moon. Obama put a man in the ladies room"
Tickerguy
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It's not a long shot - the treatment does NOT work on people with this particular type of the disorder.

That's known.

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Winding it down.
Wakeupcall
Posts: 5092
Incept: 2009-06-08

Hampton Roads, VA
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Oh, ok. Thanks for clarifying.

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"The strongest memory is weaker than the palest ink" Chinese proverb
"The enemy of my enemy is my candidate" Random commenter
"Kennedy put a man on the moon. Obama put a man in the ladies room"
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