Middle schoolers curse and threaten 68-year-old grandmother on bus.
– News item
Doctor says 130,000 elderly Britons die annually of neglect by National Health Service.
– News item
Supreme Court to rule on constitutionality of nationalized health care.
– News item
You think these events are unrelated? You’re wrong. Millions of people have seen the video of New York middle-school students cursing, making sexual insults, and threatening a 68-year-old grandmother. The white-haired lady was riding a school bus as a monitor to supplement her income. The uncivilized kids made fun of the lady’s obesity. One threatened to stab her in the belly with a knife.
When I rode buses growing up, we didn’t need monitors. We kept ourselves in order. We would never insult an adult, much less threaten one – because we feared disapproval, and because we had been brought up to respect adults.
If adults didn’t know more than we did, why go to school? We had been taught that to be esteemed, we had to accomplish something worthwhile. Today’s kids are taught to have unearned self-esteem. How’s that working out?
In my day, kids were brought up to value ethical behavior. Now kids are brought up to value healthful behavior. As a result, ethics is neglected, while we have the most obese kids in history. The kids aren’t healthier themselves. It’s just that they have been taught to value health, youth, and beauty – so they devalue the disabled, the elderly, and the unbeautiful.
Watch local TV news anchors. You will see young and middle-aged men in suits and ties; some have gray hair. But you will see almost exclusively young women, dressed in sleeveless blouses, often with plunging necklines; not one has grey hair or is overweight. What message does this send viewers, especially young viewers, about the value of older people, especially women?
It’s bad enough for men, who now must dye their hair and get Botox injections to find or keep a job. It’s worse for women, who are reduced to the level of prostitutes – only the young, slender, and attractive are worthy of consideration. If you think this is an exaggeration, consider how the students treated the bus monitor – exactly as if she were an elderly, overweight streetwalker.
They could have seen the white-haired lady as a source of wisdom acquired over 68 years. They could have seen the grandmother as a source of emotional support, perhaps making up for a lack in their own homes. They could have seen her as willing to work at her age, but choosing to work with children. But instead, they saw her only as an old, unattractive sex object. How inexpressibly sad.
How should the disabled, the elderly, and the unbeautiful be treated? What do we owe every human being, regardless of physical or mental condition?
Who decided that persons who are incurably ill or in a persistent vegetative state can be slowly dehydrated and starved to death? Congress? The American Medical Association? Are you joking? It was decided by a 5-4 vote of the U.S. Supreme Court. Five unelected judges with lifetime jobs told 313 million Americans to abandon their Biblically based respect for all human life.
But now, we are seeing the beginning of the conflict between religion and government-controlled health care. The Catholic Church is challenging the government’s insistence that Catholic institutions offer birth-control and abortion services to employees. If life-and-death decisions are centralized in Washington, how can we call ourselves free?
Lancet, a leading British medical journal, published an article noting with approval the “peaceful” dehydrating and starving to death of a patient “very near” a persistent vegetative state. Very near? That is, the patient was minimally conscious, as Terri Schiavo may have been.
If a doctor took a car that was parked “very near” his own car, he would be in serious trouble. Cars are valuable. But killing a disabled patient? No problem. Marxism teaches that everything is determined by economics. Many people are quick learners.
A milestone on the road downhill was the publication in Germany in 1920 of “Permission to Exterminate Life Unworthy of Life.” Revealingly, the book was authored by two professors, one a lawyer and one a physician. A university degree tells absolutely nothing about a person’s moral compass. The “unworthy” included the incurably ill, the mentally ill or retarded, and deformed children. Killing was “healing treatment” to be administered by physicians.
For the first time, killing and healing were mixed together. And physicians’ loyalty was no longer to the individual patient, but to the state.
Under President Obama’s plan, the elderly will receive treatment “…if we’ve got experts…advising doctors across the board that it will save money.” That is: (1) The decision will be made by “experts,” not doctors. (2) The decision will be a nationwide regulation, not tailored for the individual patient. (3) The decision will be based on saving money. Revealingly, ObamaCare includes drastic cuts to Medicare.
Do you see the connection between nationalized health care and the kids who insulted grandma on the bus? What kind of citizens will those kids grow up to be? What kind of health-care bureaucrats will they make? No, we’re not Nazis. We would never kill the disabled or the elderly. We will simply deny them treatment and give them a “painkiller.” And then we will cut back on pain medication as well. Have a nice day.
Once the Nazis took over, medical graduates no longer took the Hippocratic Oath, but an oath to the health of the state. Most American medical graduates also no longer take the Hippocratic Oath, but a variety of other oaths, of which only 8% reject abortion, and only 14% reject euthanasia.
I believe the chief cause of the Hippocratic Oath’s demise is its ban on abortion. But in the Oath, euthanasia and abortion are next to each other. Discarding one prohibition weakened the other. If all human life isn’t sacred, none is. Intermediate positions are weak and are being overrun one by one. Who is worthy to live becomes just a matter of opinion, and the only opinion that matters is the government’s.
Once we throw away the rulebook, the referee becomes a dictator.
The phrase “life unworthy of life” was used by the Nazis, but it originated before anyone heard of Hitler. Nazism was a seed that fell on soil that had already been fertilized by the manure of viewing human beings not as having intrinsic worth because they are created in God’s image, but as having worth only if they are useful to others. Those who now spread similar manure will not be able to claim innocence if similar seeds sprout.
Of all professions, medicine had the highest percent of Nazis. When leading doctors support late-term abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, destruction of human embryos for research, and rationing of health care, remember not to expect moral leadership from the medical profession.
Check out the court cases that authorized assisted suicide or euthanasia. You’ll find the names Nancy Cruzan, Karen Ann Quinlan, Elizabeth Bouvia, and Terri Schiavo. They were women, as were 32 out of 47 or 68% of the people killed by Dr. Kevorkian. Being elderly or disabled is becoming dangerous, but being a disabled woman is more dangerous. That doesn’t trouble most ethicists or judges. Of course, the majority of them are men.
There is still time to restore the medical profession to its former state of independent professionals dedicated to the well-being of individual patients, rather than mere technicians serving the interests of the state. There is still time to rebuild our firm belief that every human being is worthy of respect – including the disabled, the elderly, and the unbeautiful. But instead, we are moving in the opposite direction.
Old? Disabled? Unattractive? No longer economically productive? Take a pain pill if you can find one, and get off the bus. You’re slowing us down. We’re on our way downhill, and we’re in a hurry.
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Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.