Thursday, August 09, 2007

Health Care Issues: Those Tough Decisions

Perhaps it's because I'm a Libra, but I have a hard time taking sides or making decisions about key political and social issues and political candidates. I like to think that I'm basically for good and against evil, but on controversial issues, I usualy see at least two sides, and sometimes several more. There's always a "But ..."

I guess that makes me seem "wishy-washy" or indecisive, but to me, it means that there are some issues so complicated that I despair at finding the "right" path. That's why I'll never get into politics. Here is an example:

In the August 8, 2007, Chicago Tribune, buried in a tiny "Across the Nation" article on page 10, I found this:

Washington, DC. "Court: FDA, not doctor, must OK new drugs for dying patients."

"People who are dying do not have the right to obtain unapproved drugs that are potentially life-saving, even if their doctors say the treatment offers their best hope for survival, a U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday. In an 8-2 decision, the court said federal drug regulators are entrusted by law with deciding when new drugs are safe for wide use. The families of terminally ill patients, several of whom died after they were denied promising drugs that were still in tests, filed the lawsuit."

In this case, I have at least two "Buts": "But the patients were dying anyway," and "But that would not exactly be 'wide use.'"

I guess it's a matter of which we trust the most: individual doctors or the U.S. government. That, too, is a diffucult question. If I were definitely on my death bed, and a doctor said a new, experimental drug was my only hope, I'd want it! After all, if the drug failed, I'd die, and if I didn't get it, I'd die. In the first case, at least the researchers would learn something that might help others. And if it did work, I might have a new chance at life. If I couldn't get the drug, I'd just die. No "up side" there!

I realize that a religious person might take a different view, and that there's no easy solution to the problem. But do you see my point? Yes, we need health care reform, but how much power do we want to give to the government? There are some good and some bad plans out there, but . . . .

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Joared said...

As a Libra, I, too, readily see all sides of most questions, or think I do.;-) I attributed this to college debate, but who knows.

I would sincerely hope some actual meaningful plans for health care reform will be forthcoming from our political candidates, others. We certainly need a few more specifics than the generalities we're being given. Lots more dialogue is needed.

I hope more bloggers will be writing their specific expectations for a health care system along with thoughts about how to achieve the desired plan. I plan to do so in the future.

seniorwriter said...

Thanks. At the moment, I just don't have any ideas to present. Perhaps it's because I have been fortunate enough not to have any major health care problems myself. I realize that there are many people my age and older who have not been so lucky. In some cases (certainly not all) it's a matter of a lack of advance planning.

Filibuster said...

Great post, Marlys. Your ability to see the complexity of things would make you a great policy maker, I think. I'd rather have a person in charge who finds difficult decisions truly difficult to make than one who doesn't.

- Josh (that young man who stumbled upon your blog many months ago)

seniorwriter said...

Thanks, Josh. I have no desire to be in charge, but I will probably keep warning about the dangers of quick and easy solutions to complex problems.