A philosphical question bound to regress to name-calling and flames - page 7

Here's a discussion for you -- and bear in mind this does not reflect any particular personal belief: Does health care in general do any good for our species? By saving people from horrible... Read More

  1. by   abrenrn
    Interesting. Only one true flame, I think. Telling someone to take a logic class is a cheap shot, I believe. It usually indicates a poster unable to argue the logic.

    As per Christopher Reeves - I'm not him, I don't know what choice I would make. I also don't know how his family feels. They are the only ones who can say if he is a burden to them. I believe he has spent his own money for his care - he has also spent money for research in spinal cord injuries - both cure and rehab. His injury - and what he has done as a result of it - has helped many others.

    I worked in a research pedi oncology ward, world renowned. We almost never saw newly diagnosed ALL there. Why? Maybe ten years before, they had done enough research so that kids with ALL could be treated close to home, for less money. Most of the kids we saw had very bad cancer, they were on research protocols. You know what they, or their parents, said? "I don't know if this will help me/my child. It might help another child, though. That's why I do it." Yes, chemo was torture. But, the kids and the parents were willing to endure it - if not for themselves, for others.

    Yes, "medical research" was done in concentration camps. Generally, it is considered worthless because it was done so poorly. Unlike the children I talked about, the research subjects were not informed, nor had they consented.

    I doubt even our medical care is powerful enough to weaken our species. Sometimes it helps.

    As to livers: when there is a limitted supply, the logical solution is to use it where it has the best chance of succeeding. So neither of those mentioned would get a liver in a logical setting. However, money can buy, there are unethical physicians, hospitals, organizations, etc. I worked in a prison. They don't give livers there. They wouldn't even treat Hep C. Or give Hep A or Hep B immunizations. The last was pretty illogical, I thought. Cause they had to treat them if they got Hep A or Hep B.

    Just a few opinions. Hopefully supported. In a debate one attempts to support one's opinions.
  2. by   rncountry
    I just have to throw this in for Don M. being Scottish and all. I absolutely agree with the idea that education and healthcare make a society stronger. But what I really wanted to say is that it struck me particularly that Don would say this. Why? Because the Scots have a long, long tradition of public education, or at least a basic education for the public. Does that make sense. In the 1600's Scotland was one of the most poor and considered the most backward of the European countries, then something amazing happened. In large part due to the Presbyterian church, the Scots learned to read, and read they did. By the late 1600's Scotland had the largest reading population of all of the European countries. Nearly 70% of Scots could read. This led to the Scottish enlightenment, producing great philosophers, physicians, attorneys etc... people came from all over Europe to be educated in Scottish universities. The writing of John Locke and his rights of man deeply influenced the founding fathers of this country and the idea of a Republic formed with democratic principals. Adam Smith and his captialist ideals are the basis of the West's economy. Education is capable of leading people to astonding abilities. So what does that have to do with the original question? Everything. As we are able to become more learned we will be able to make better choices, more informed choices. I would bet every single one of us have experienced at least one case where we believed it would be much more humane to have let our patient have basic end of life care instead of the full gamet available. The way to allow people the ability to have death with dignity and release from pain is through educating not only ourselves but our friends, our family, our community. It has not been so very long ago that families had to go to court in order to get their loved one's off a vent because we had an ill concieved notion that to do otherwise was "killing" the patient. The idea of patient rights is very young, and in time it will mature. The ability to make those choices have not always come easily. The nurse who started hospice lost her job because she helped a woman go AMA so she could die at home as was her wish. We have gotten we have because of education though. Is healthcare a right? I don't know about that so much as I believe the mark of a civilized society is how well they take care of the members of it's society that cannot take care of themselves. The vast majority of healthcare dollars are spent on end of life care, and not always wisely. When Western societies, not only America, is willing to accept that death is part of life than perhaps we will see some changes, but that will also take education. The vast majority of my dying patients have fear of pain, it has been the rare patient that I have had anyway who fear death.
    To the original question, though, I would say yes, it weakens society. Not in a genetic way, because those patients have already passed on their genetics. But because we are willing to spend sometimes an obscene amount of money on the patient who is G-tube fed, unable to talk etc... while we have children in the beginning of their lives that will not get the care necessary to become strong productive members of society. I suppose that sounds cold, but I know for myself, when I am old I would much prefer the limited resources go to those that have a life yet to live. I do not mean that anyone who is ill should not get the many chances we have to save them, but there is a point in which it no longer is saving the person, but only the body. And in that therein lies the difference. Even if it was one of my children I would do as much as possible to get care that would make a difference to their lives, but if there was very little hope I believe it is a much more loving gift to be able to take care of them with the most love and reverance a person can have for another but to let them go rather than prolonging their lives filled with pain.
    And Don, kudo's to the Scots!
  3. by   abrenrn
    Kudos to the Scots, too. Thanks, BTW, I did not know most of that. I love to learn new stuff.

    I guess healthcare comes down to: resources, distribution and education.

    At the prison system I worked in, all HIV patients were expected to sign a DNR at DIAGNOSIS!! I may be too liberal here, but sometimes a couple of days on a vent will get an otherwise stable patient through a pnuemonia. A DNR at end-stage, completely different. Some of these HIV inmates were in for things that, well, there but for the grace of God.

    Lots of ethical dilemmas. I agree. I certainly think there is no such thing as too much education.
  4. by   JohnnyGage
    I was thinking about this the other night while watching "Maternity Ward" with my wife. A woman has too narrow of a pelvis for vaginal birth, despite her best efforts, and had to have a c-section. It seems to me that in the past, both she and the baby would have died, thus ending her genes for a narrow pelvis. If c-sections were never done it situations like this, we could assume that eventually, all women would have pelvises wide enough for natual birth.

    Having said that ... evolution by definition takes a long, long time. It is likely that the effects of this no-c-section philosophy wouldn't become evident for at least half-a-million years. It seems stupid to not save two lives (mother and child) in a case like this just to promote an evolutionary change that won't directly affect us or anyone we can conceive of.

    [$0.02 deposited per request.]
  5. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    There are many ways were I can see the natural selection has been hindered
    I have also seen were many have a shallow gene pool that sadly contiues to breed.
    We have created our own Super Bugs , which I think is our punishment for not allowing natural selection to occur.
    We try our best in Medicine to play God and yet we have learned that Only God is God. Only He can make the final decision.
    Just my thoughts
    Zoe
  6. by   brianpribis
    hmmmm, survival of the fittest or natural selection really isn't an issue unless you an unthinking animal. The thing that does make us different is that we can look past the outside and hope for a better inside. Yes, it has its drawbacks, some Hittlers, Mansons, etc. get helped as well, but how many people have been saved who really did somehting for us all? How many great scientests, doctors, nurses, artists, writers and so on were saved by the technology? We save and nurture because people are people and not because they are stronger. That is what makes us humans, that is what makes us nurses.

    Oh, and although Darwinian theory sounds nice, look at pictures of the killing fields and the results of the holocaust and tell me they deserved to die because they were weaker. All of a sudden in light of reality Darwin sounds like and ape.

    Good question though!

    b--
  7. by   brianpribis
    Originally posted by JohnnyGage
    I was thinking about this the other night while watching "Maternity Ward" with my wife. A woman has too narrow of a pelvis for vaginal birth, despite her best efforts, and had to have a c-section. It seems to me that in the past, both she and the baby would have died, thus ending her genes for a narrow pelvis. If c-sections were never done it situations like this, we could assume that eventually, all women would have pelvises wide enough for natual birth.

    Having said that ... evolution by definition takes a long, long time. It is likely that the effects of this no-c-section philosophy wouldn't become evident for at least half-a-million years. It seems stupid to not save two lives (mother and child) in a case like this just to promote an evolutionary change that won't directly affect us or anyone we can conceive of.

    [$0.02 deposited per request.]

    This is kinda funny, what you have in fact said was we have to go against evolution because of evolution. What is even more interesting is that IF we are a product of evolution (proof still pending) then evolution has created a species that by nature goes against its (evolution's) own nature (natural selection). Further, if saving lives goes against the evolutionary process then evolution has now become, by definition, self defeating. Now THAT is interesting.
  8. by   donmurray
    Darwin never postulated that homo sapiens evolved from apes, but that we, and apes, both evolved from a common ancestor by different routes. Just to clarify a cheap unthinking kneejerk shot.
    As to the creationist alternative, to attempt to prove the creation theory is to deny faith, and therefore the theory. Why is evolution held to a higher standard of proof?
  9. by   brianpribis
    Originally posted by donmurray
    Just to clarify a cheap unthinking kneejerk shot...As to the creationist alternative, to attempt to prove the creation theory is to deny faith, and therefore the theory. Why is evolution held to a higher standard of proof?
    Ummmmm, eh? Cheap unthinking kneejerk thought? What, are you related to Darwin or something? Missed ya there. As to the proving creation is denying faith, that is just plain ol' confussing the issues but I won't get into that here on this thread. No point really. As to standards of proof...Since they are both dependant on faith and both lack conclusive proof they are both on the same footing I would say.

    Just don't go ape on us now! O.k.?

    Peace!
    b--
  10. by   sbic56
    donmurray
    Now ya done it. Got them going.

    Since they are both dependant on faith and both lack conclusive proof they are both on the same footing I would say.
    Don't you get kick out of that logic! I'll be watching...but am going to try and stay out of it. Looks like trouble.
  11. by   Stargazer
    Well, it's a bout time. Took almost 6 pages for this thread to start living up to its title, even if the bone of contention IS a bit off-topic.

    <settles back with popcorn to watch>
  12. by   donmurray
    Simian is not far to go for any of us, as our DNA is only 1.6% different to a chimpanzee's.

    May your God go with you
  13. by   CRNAorBust
    Does health care in general do any good for our species? By saving people from horrible illness and poor lifestyle choices, are we encouraging a weaker human species by going against natural selection processes?

    I don't believe health care does any such thing. People are people. Some of us make better choices than others. Some of us make really BAD choices. All the health care system CAN do is tell them which choices are better for them. It';s up to the individuals to decide if they believe it. This will ALWAYS be the case. That's why I don't believe government or any other institution can MAKE a person or group of persons do ANYTHING good or bad for themselves. And thats' why when government or other institutions TRY all they do is create a new set of criminals and red tape to contend with.

    How many of us have patients who are non compliant with meds? Who think poorly about how to behave and wind up with HIV, Hep C, have drug abuse problems etc. Many people come from poor environments and no amount of health care will be able to FIX that.

    And its interesting to read this topic because we don't say we have euthanasia in the US but in FACT we DO! My father was in a nursing facility for rehab a few weeks past. He was not attended to properly and wound up with severe dehydration. Obviously at 92 that KILLED HIM. His kidneys shut down, had a K level of 7.0 and Cr of 3.4. then the docs in the ER put in a Central line and he got a small pneumo, Plus sepsis in the blood and the kidneys. The only thing keeping dad alive at that point was Levophed going thru his system. His BP was so unstable that they wouldn't move him to another floor. The doctor asked me what his wishes were. I said "to stop the Levo!" They did and he was gone in one day. But how many others who know little about such matters would hang on to mom or dad in hops of saving them? Health is and always will be about choices. That's what LIFE is about. In lieu of that, I say health care does nothing to extend lives directly. They give us Options to ponder and either correctly follow or not follow.

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