Eudaimonia

While reading that nonsense from Lindy about being an astronaut the other day, something struck me. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the Millenials are simply spending far too much time in their parent’s basement. I mean, how long can you stay in your room before you go mad? Yes, electronics would make it better less horrible, but still.

I mean that’s what we call cabin fever, after a blizzard within a day or so, you’ll willingly shovel wet snowdrifts 10 feet high to get out of your house. Why? Usually, no reason except you’re down to you last gallon of milk for the two of you.

Look, I like my own company, and I spend a good deal of time interacting with others on line, and still if I don’t get out and around every day for a while, I get cranky. I like to think I’d be happy in a cabin in the mountains without all you idiots, and I would, for about five hours. 🙂 We all need people, preferably in person, but if they are good ones, on line can do, kind of, sort of. In fact, that’s why I have a lunatic respect for submariners (Hi Mac!). How anybody can volunteer to spend 60 days with only the 100 or so crazy guys on the crew, no matter how busy you are, I don’t understand. 😉

Quite a while back, Charlie Gilkey wrote an article on what Aristotle called  Eudaimonia, which he translated as ‘flourishing’. That translation works for our purposes, and I don’t do Greek, so we’ll agree. In it, he says…

  1. We are physical beings (because we are animals). As physical beings, we require nourishment, exercise, rest, and all the other things that it takes to keep our bodies functioning properly.
  2. We are emotional beings (because we are animals). What separates animals from plants, according to Aristotle, is that animals have wants, desires, urges, and reactions. We perceive something in the world that we want and we have the power of volition to get it; likewise, we have the power to avoid the things we don’t want. For humans, these wants can get pretty complex, but at rock bottom we all have (emotional) needs and wants that spring from rather basic sources.
  3. We are social beings (because humans live in groups). We must live and function in particular societies. “No man is an island,” and we are the type of being that does well only in social settings. Our social nature stacks on top of our emotional nature, such that we have wants and needs that we would not have were we not social creatures. For example, if we were the type of creature that flourished as hermits, the need for trust and friendly cooperation would not be nearly so pressing.
  4. We are rational beings. To the Greeks – and, let’s be honest, most cultures, including our own contemporary one – what made humans human was our rationality. We are creative, expressive, knowledge-seeking, and able to obey reason. We might not always obey reason and we may sometimes not want to exercise our minds, but a large part of our existence relates to our being rational animals.

That’s not all inclusive, at least to me, but he’s on to something here, I think. We do have to keep the machine maintained, decent food, the joints working, some fresh air all that. When I was a kid, there was that fad for fallout shelters, even as a kid (and a pretty young one) I wasn’t sure it was worthwhile if I was going to have to live in essentially a semi trailer for 6 months to a year. That’s still my trouble with some of the preppers. That just isn’t reasonable for human beings, unless you know it’s for a limited time, and the world will be out there waiting for you.

Well, it seems lately that we don’t need much encouragement to be emotional, or even overemotional. It’s important to note, but it seems to me that balance is lacking lately.

We can live in isolation, but I question how well. Perhaps the ones who did it best were the early Christian ascetics, and before all that long that had grown into monasticism, because, I’d guess, the ascetics found that God, for all his virtues, wasn’t very good day-to-day company. And that’s why holing up in Mom’s basement rarely works out well.

This to me seems the yang to emotions ying. Without rationality, we are simply animals, reason is what sets us apart. It has to be in balance, or we end up depraved (and deprived).

I said above that he was not all inclusive, and it’s not. That’s not a major fault if one is talking about Aristotle, because the source is, what is missing is God. But it is interesting, as Christians, we often refer to God as the Logos, which is also Greek, which in many ways is the original language of Christianity. It translates correctly as two things. Love, our emotional commitment to others, and as Reason, our commitment to rationality. Frankly, that is where Atheism and Objectivism fail, human beings are innately emotional, all of us, and it must be taken into account Both are gifts of God to humanity.

Of course, it’s up to us to use those gifts for good, and we could do better.

Lowering NEO’s Swamp Level

Well, we made it to August. Shall we pop our heads up and see what is going on? Stuff you should know.

Federalist publisher Ben Domenech joined CBS’s “Face The Nation” Sunday morning to explain why Republicans’ lies are to blame for their failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Hammer, meet nail.

Milton Friedman on Mineral Resource Theory

A sample of why this is important.

[An email from Milton Friedman to Rob Brdley:]

FRIEDMAN TO BRADLEY, 9-8-03
Dear Mr. Bradley:

The basic point I believe in your natural resource discussion is that the economic product in question is not coal or oil or natural gas but energy.

The question is, what is the supply curve of energy? The use of coal or oil is a simply a means of producing energy. The stock of coal, of oil, etc., is certainly in some sense finite, but that doesn’t mean that the potential amount of energy capable of being produced by whatever source is to be considered finite.

Energy will be produced in whatever way is cheapest at the time and as new means of producing energy are discovered the particular mode of producing energy will change from coal to oil to natural gas to atomic sources. That is the view expressed in the statement of mine that you quote.

Worth remembering, always

Is Putin panicking? Maybe he should be.

First, everyone in Washington assumes the Russian hacking operation was a brilliant success. Was it? Here’s what Putin’s spooks actually accomplished: They hacked into Hillary Clinton’s email server, then got two shady characters with known ties to the Kremlin into a meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort. That’s it.

For the second reason Putin is panicked, let’s turn our attention away from this phony scandal to focus on something that actually matters: The first ever tanker with liquefied natural gas from the United States just docked in Poland.

This a global game-changer. For decades, going back to the Cold War days of the Soviet Union, exports of natural gas from Russia to Europe have been among the Kremlin’s most vital levers of power. These exports provided hard currency the Soviet Union needed to enable its pathetically weak economy to compete globally against the United States, not just economically and politically, but militarily.

You, like me, being sensible people, remember that back in the 80s, that rising tide, lifting all boats, that Reagan spoke of, killed the Soviet Union. Yes, the US military held the line, but the victory was won on the home front. We’re doing it again, with Russia, and also with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. It’s the American way, send a tanker, make people’s lives better, and watch what happens.

The Imran Awan IT Case Isn’t About Bank Fraud, It’s About National Security

Six months late, but better than never.

State Department officials quitting over “complete and utter disdain for our expertise”

More good news

Why this Matters so much.

In recent years, one catastrophe has followed upon another in the Middle East. In a bracing essay authored for Power Line, David Horowitz lays blame where it belongs, at the feet of the Obama administration:

During the eight years of the Obama administration, half a million Christians, Yazidis and Muslims were slaughtered in the Middle East by ISIS and other Islamic jihadists, in a genocidal campaign waged in the name of Islam and its God. Twenty million others were driven into exile by these same jihadist forces. Libya and Yemen became terrorist states. America – once the dominant foreign power and anti-jihadist presence in the region – was replaced by Russia, an ally of the monster regimes in Syria and Iran, and their terrorist proxies. Under the patronage of the Obama administration, Iran – the largest and most dangerous terrorist state, with the blood of thousands of Americans on its hands – emerged from its isolation as a pariah state to re-enter the community of nations and become the region’s dominant power, arming and directing its terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Yemen.

These disasters are a direct consequence of the policies of appeasement and retreat of the Obama administration.

Heh! ‘Collusion’ Collapses: Dem Congressional Espionage Ring Takes Center Ring

What made America great? According to de Tocqueville, our women. Which makes all the sense in the world to me.

Alexis de Tocqueville came to America in 1831 to study its prisons, but ended up documenting nearly every facet of American life. With journalistic curiosity, the French aristocrat scrutinized America’s religion and government, its society and industry. He wanted to know what allowed the United States to surpass Europe as the world’s political and economic superpower.

His conclusion? Women.

The women Tocqueville saw were not CEOs or celebrities, politicians or professional athletes. They were largely confined to the home: cleaning, cooking, taking care of children. But to the young political historian, no position seemed more important. “There have never been free societies without morals, and…it is the woman that molds the morals,” he wrote. Tocqueville saw American women as the keystone of the family, the ones who held everyone else together.

By taking primary responsibility for the home, American women allowed their husbands to fulfill their roles as providers and protectors, and they both worked toward a common goal: strengthening the family. These traditional roles of men and women, maligned today as harmful “gender stereotypes,” are precisely what helped to make America exceptional in Tocqueville’s eyes.

Some things actually are true, everywhere, always. This is one of them.

Wesley J. Smith tells us there may be another Charlie Gard case, coming up.

The treatment is unwanted by doctors because it is working. Hence, it isn’t the treatment but Alfie’s life that would be declared futile if the courts pulled another “Charlie Gard.”

Half a dozen US hospitals may be willing to offer alternative care for the Alfie:

Well, the customer is the one who pays the bill. In the UK that is HMG, and they don’t want to spend the money. It’s more important to turn boys into pseudo girls, or something.

In spite of the London bubble, Brexit is working out quite well for Britain, not that you’ll hear much of that news from their very own FSM.

LONDON — On July 24, trade talks began between Britain and America. All right, they weren’t formally called trade talks: As long as Britain is still in the European Union, it is supposed to contract out all its commercial decisions to Brussels. Officially, the United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, and the British trade secretary, Liam Fox, met for broad discussions about what might happen when Brexit takes effect in 2019.

Still, both sides can see the prize. For decades, there have been fitful negotiations between Washington and Brussels on trade liberalization, but they have always run up against the protectionism of France and some southern European states.

Between Britain and America, there are few such problems. Each country is the other’s biggest investor: About a million Americans work for British-owned companies, and a similar number of Britons work for American-owned companies. A liberal trade deal, based on mutual recognition of standards and qualifications, will bolster both economies.


Well, as we start a new month, that brings the water level down a bit in my part of the swamp. Enjoy the links, they’re all good ones.

 

Charlie Gard; the Fundamental Divide

The Charlie Gard affair became quite a divisive thing. (But also brought some people together, like Senator Cruz, President Trump, and Pope Francis, a trio that seems rather unlikely, but who all agreed here.) Particularly between the American Right to Life movement and some of our friends. One of the people in Britain whom I respect a good deal is Melanie Phillips, I’ve read and listened to her for years, and she is a spokesman for common sense and yes conservatism. But on this issue something strange happened. Watch.

The problem is fundamental, in our view of who owns a baby. Let’s let Lady Penguin of Unified Patriots spell it out.

Recently, William McGurn of the WSJ, wrote a thoughtful and compassionate article regarding the situation of Charlie Gard. WSJ has a paywall, here is another source:
I agreed 100% with Mr. McGurn’s perspective, and had some additional thoughts/perspective to add regarding this tragic story.

Let’s go back to 1930’s Germany. Hitler went through the hospitals and killed the old, the sick, the infirm, and the disabled. Family and friends of loved ones who they expected to return home or at least be cared for in the health institutions of that era, never saw them again. Essentially, the “undesirables” of society ended up as part of the millions killed in the Holocaust. Too few people study Germany and the changes in her cultural institutions before World War II, but that’s critical to ultimately understanding the onset of that war. Germany had to be groomed by Hitler in the 1930’s to pave the way for his plans of taking over Europe and initiating/completing his “Final Solution.” Those plans included not only Jews, but the weak, disabled, elderly and his political opponents.

Charlie Gard’s story gives us a glimpse of this same pathway. Britain’s National Health Service has been set up to “own” the individual – whether child or adult. When Charlie was born and had to be placed in neonatal intensive care, the NHS terminated the parental rights of Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard. The parents have spent precious months fighting for the right to take the baby out of the NHS and come to America where a physician was willing to try an experimental treatment. In baby Charlie’s case, it wasn’t even about money because the parents had independently raised the necessary funds, but it is/was about who has the RIGHT to determine what was best for Charlie.

The parents wanted to try anything possible to save his life – the State decided nothing was possible and took all control of Charlie away from Connie and Chris. This is what happens in a State controlled health service. The parents appealed to the European Union’s High Court, and the decision of the UK Court AND the National Health Service was upheld. Considering what is happening in the Netherlands – their open and almost gleeful embrace of euthanasia, assisted suicide – the EU Court siding with Britain’s NHS is no surprise. Read another WSJ article, “In the Netherlands, the Doctor Will Kill You Now” by Kees van der Staaij.

And that is what set us off, the presumption by the State, for the NHS is nothing but an arm of the state, that it owned little Charlie and that his parents should sit down and shut up, because he was too far gone to live. Probably by the time we got involved he actually was, but that is because the NHS stalled since January. Was that true then? I don’t know, but it’s a troubling question. And that is also why, when the parents said enough is enough, it’s too late, we all simply offered our sympathy, it was their call, with medical advice they trusted, to make. Not the hospital’s cost driven choice. That the hospital felt the need to continue abusing them is unfortunate but unsurprising.  It strikes many of us as a return to pre-Christian paganism, where unwanted children were simply left to die of exposure. Same thing, but hidden in buildings, and by unformed consciences.

And, if we are honest, for whatever cause, that is the difference between America and Europe, including the UK. Americans are, by training and instinct, distrustful of, and suspicious of, anything connected with the government, with overwhelming cause, going back to not only George III, but to the Stuarts, whose views on religion caused a good many of our founders, the Dissenters, to come here, to found that “cittie on the hille” that has come to symbolize so much of America to the world. Only an American would have said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” And I suspect only Americans understand just how terrifying those words can and should, be.

Daily, thousands of life and death decisions are made in a family regarding life support issues for a loved one. It’s made between the physician, family members, and the patients themselves if they are able to participate. I don’t need to go into the medical details of these types of situations; suffice it to say, it happens, but it is in the hands of the patient, family and physician. Not the State.

The Affordable Care Act had a hidden nugget, outed by Sarah Palin, known as “Death Panels.” This is a fact, and as long as the ACA remains on the books, a non-medical bureaucrat is going to make a decision on whether one gets treatment and lives or gets a pill for pain, and simply dies. Barack Obama once gave the ludicrous example of a 90 year old woman needing a pacemaker…a woman who was alert, functioning and enjoying life, he said maybe they “should just give her a pill (not sure if it was ‘red’ or ‘blue’) for pain instead of a pacemaker…” I’m in the medical field, pacemakers are an everyday, reasonable option. Millions of people have them – rare for a person not to be able to get one. But in Obama’s worldview, and others who think like him, a 90 year grandmother has no meaning or relevancy to society. That’s where he is not only wrong, but it shows the moral decline of a society. It’s our humanity and respect for life – imperfect as it is – which keeps us on a moral path. Once we lose that compass, we lose everything else.

And that is why, beyond our moral revulsion at the actions of the NHS, which is very real, the whole issue is very important to Americans. And there is this.

The Charlie Gards of the world are important, just as the Down Syndrome infants are, or the disabled or the elderly – it keeps our humanity, our Soul. If we deliberately kill – when alternative resources or experimental treatments are available, we’re on our way to the same kind of thinking and mindset which engulfed the Third Reich. No difference.

Update: I want to add two perceptive remarks from the comment thread.

1) Kenny Solomon used the phrase: “genocidal theocracy” – which brings to mind the abortion industry and their rabid supporters.

2) Vassar Bushmills noted: “Never forget, that murder by indifference is the greatest sin before God.

Emphasis mine and a huge tip of the Stetson to PUMABydesign001.

The Church v. the United States

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

There was a piece by Fr Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa in the unofficial papal organ La Civiltà Cattolica. It was an attack piece, not so much on America per se, as on the American Catholic Church especially how it has so often become allied to US Evangelicals. I noted that it was published and let it go – I don’t know enough to comment intelligently, and so try not to. But Matthew Schmitz writing in The Catholic Herald, goes where I fear to tread, and very ably, too.

The men surrounding Francis see him as an indispensable support of a uniquely just political system. In a series of speeches on Europe, Francis has embraced that role, arguing that with the formation of the European Union, Europe finally “found its true self”. Europe had always had “a dynamic and multicultural identity”, but only since World War II has that identity been embodied in societies “free of ideological conflicts, with equal room for the native and the immigrant, for believers and non-believers”.

Francis stresses diversity over identity, dialogue over agreement. (“If there is one word that we should never tire of repeating, it is this: dialogue.”) For all else the men share, this is a view opposed to that of Benedict XVI, who called on Europeans to “embrace our own heritage of the sacred” and warned that “multiculturalism, which is so passionately promoted, can sometimes amount to an abandonment and denial, a flight from one’s own things”. Benedict XVI saw the Church and the liberal order standing in a deeply ambivalent relationship. If Francis is more optimistic that they can partner, it is perhaps because he desires both a liberal Church and a liberal politics – each ratifying the other in a kind of inverted integralism.

I (and many others) have noted that the Church sounds like an entirely different institution under Francis than it did Benedict. Nor does it seem to many of us one that promotes either the Kingdom of God or the good of the average man. After a needed explanation of integralism, the author continues.

It is in this context that one must understand the Vatican’s recent sally against America in the unofficial papal organ La Civiltà Cattolica. Written by Fr Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa, another papal confidant, the article is not merely an expression of anti-American spite or an attack on ecclesial enemies. It is an attempt to defend the liberal order against what is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as an existential threat.

Spadaro and Figueroa believe that American Catholics and Evangelicals resemble ISIS, in that they have formed a “cult of the apocalypse” in which the “community of believers (faith) becomes a community of combatants (fight)”. Underlying this cult of the apocalypse is a “political Manichaeism”, a desire to identify “what is good and what is bad”, which ultimately “divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil”. Spadaro and Figueroa single out for censure a fringe website called Church Militant – perhaps less for its influence (which is minor) than for its martial name.

If an indigenous tribesman interrupted in his affairs by a Columbus or Pizarro had read the accounts those explorers sent home, he would have marvelled as I did while reading this document. Error and exaggeration bloom, as the authors survey an unfamiliar landscape. American deserts and wastes were once expected to disclose glittering El Dorados; today, obscure websites and forgotten thinkers are accorded capital significance.

It’s sort of funny, really, about five years ago, a friend, an English Catholic living in Spain, asked me what I made of Michael Voris the force behind The Church Militant. After watching some of his videos, I told her that while much of his message resonated with me, some quite strongly, I found him too narrowly Roman Catholic to have any valid solutions, at least in America. I suspect that sort of thing happens fairly often, with both Catholic and Evangelical sources, we all have our separate axes that need grinding, but we also have quite a few common interests. That is part of the genius that seems to be mostly American, to cooperate and yet fight (mostly bloodlessly) like the very devil amongst ourselves. I’ve often compared us to a family, we fight and quarrel amongst ourselves, but let an outsider get involved, and we’re pretty much all on side.

It is no coincidence that America is more comfortable with both religion and violence – in some strange way, the two go hand in hand. Only if public moral judgments are potentially legitimate can public violence be justified. Manent believes that Europe’s leaders have come to doubt this possibility, and so “the secular state is itself becoming secularised”. No authority has the right to say who is worthy of receiving Communion and who is not, who may live and who must die. Church and state alike are stripped of the authority to command and punish.

Americans are less confident that they can dispense with such judgments. “Since the risk of violent death at the hands of others never completely disappears, the right to self-defence cannot completely disappear” – thus capital punishment and the Second Amendment. Spadaro and Figueroa decry this as a barbaric version of the old integralism. For Manent, it is an acknowledgment of inevitable fact.

America’s savagery is all the more baffling to Europeans because the US is richer and less haunted by the past than are the nations of Europe. At once more advanced and more primitive, America is an unsettling sign that no amount of progress will reverse the effects of the Fall.

This American, at least, is convinced that we cannot dispense with moral judgement. If we do, we enter Hobbes world, “A war of all against all”. And yes, it strikes as entirely appropriate that Americans exhibit the fact that no amount of progress will reverse the effects of the Fall. After all, the very design of American constitutionalism and all that flows from it is a recognition of, and an attempt to control the effects of, the Fall itself. It has worked remarkably well, so far, both for America, and the world. Perhaps something there for Rome itself to consider.

 

Sweden Facing The Abyss

Well, we’ve plenty of insane news (real or fake) in this country, but this story coming out of Sweden troubles me. Not that I have any idea that we should, or could, fix it for them, they made the problem and in some manner, it’s up to them to solve it. But it probably should be a warning to us all. From Josuapundit.

Sweden’s National Police Commissioner, Dan Eliasson, recently spoke on national television and shocked his fellow Swedes by pleading for assistance. “Help us, help us!,” he said, while warning that Swedish police forces no longer can uphold the law and therefore must ask all “good powers” in the country to support them. Sweden faces the abyss of lawlessness and perhaps even a defacto civil war.

Commissioner Eliasson’s remarks reflect a shocking change for the worse in what used to be one of Europe’s most peaceful and law abiding countries.

leaked report concluded that the number of “no-go zones”) in Sweden now totals 61, up from 55 in just one year’s time. This increase represents not only the total number, but also the geographical size of these areas. The Swedish authorities themselves refer to these areas as utenforskap, which roughly translates as ‘excluded areas.’ What it amounts to is that Muslim gangs are carving out territory for themselves where they’re the ones in control, not the Swedish authorities.

Police chief Lars Alversjø says that, “There is lawlessness in parts of Stockholm now.” He also said, “The legal system, which is a pillar in every democratic society, is collapsing in Sweden.”

There are reports like this throughout Europe, in Germany, France, and even in Britain, they are true, but they are not national, not yet. This is. We are seeing the precursors here, as well, but in America, there is one thing that Europe does not have, a populous that is capable of defending itself. Europe has long since disarmed its subjects, best thing they’ve got left is a kitchen knife, and that unlikely to be effective.

In 2015, there was a report that something like “only” 38,000 women had experienced genital mutilation. The new report shows how this has skyrocketed, even though it is illegal in Sweden.

Sexual assaults have increased as well. New data from Sweden’s national bureau for statistics, BRÅ says that 3,430 rapes was reported the first six months of 2017, up 14 percent compared to the previous half-year. In all, 9,680 sexual crimes was committed from January to June. According to a BRÅ report from 2013,only 23 percent of sexual crimes in Sweden are reported, which means that we can extrapolate the real number of sexual crimes the last six months in Sweden amounts to around 42,000.

What we are actually seeing here is, to my mind, the active contempt for the law of the land on the part of a large group of the population, sadly one that the natives chose to import. Admittedly, the whole concept of the law of the land doesn’t translate overly well from the Anglo-Saxon lands where it has built up, mostly peacefully over well over a thousand years to Europe, where it has usually been imposed by one strong man or another.

And so, as we watch, and try to guard our own civilizations, we will be watching as so many of those famed countries that so many Americans call our home countries subside into the medieval chaos that Islamic terrorism provides as the relentless drumbeat continues against the Christianity that has built the modern world.

For Europe, unless its own people decide to do something about it, as the countries of Eastern Europe, especially Poland and Czechoslovakia, appear to be doing, there is no help. One can’t fix things for those who refuse to see a problem. For ourselves, we would be wise to pay attention.

 

Charlie Gard, Green Cards, Right to Life, and Ownership

Sometimes a story just reaches out and grabs you, and won’t let go. For me, Charlie Gard is that story. I’m convinced that eventually, the NHS will kill him, it’s not like it will be novel for them or anything. But in the meantime, I, like so many others, including the US Congress, the President of the United States, The US Right to Life movement, The British Right to Life movement, most Christians, and the Pope, one does what one can.

The biggest problem, I suspect is that the NHS when it made it the cold conclusion that this child must die, assumed that his parents were simply sheeple that would do what they were told to do. Well, they’re not, they are thinking, feeling people, who love their son, and are willing to fight all comers for what they think is right for him. They may be wrong in their assessment. They assuredly are not wrong in their determination. I and many others honor them for it.

In any case, this happened.

Does it matter that Charlie and his parents are now legal residents of the United States? Probably not really. That’s what this is, it is the coveted American Green Card, awarded by special act of the US Congress, carrying with it all the rights guaranteed an American, including the Right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. It’s the right thing to do, but probably non-effectual. There is only one more thing Congress could do, declare Charlie an honorary citizen of the United States. In this context, it has been done only once, to attempt to prevent the Soviets from killing Raoul Wallenberg. He was so designated because of his work in saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis in Budapest as the Swedish Special Envoy. Apparently, he was killed at the Lubyanka in 1947.

What we have here is simply a pissing match, the NHS, and the British and European courts vs the decent people of the world. The NHS will likely win the match, but they have done themselves much damage, in their cold, unblinking desire to kill this baby, no matter what anybody thinks.

For a good many American readers, I suspect they have also killed Obamacare for good, if the Congress can’t get its thumb out, then Congress will change. I think we’ve had enough, and enough of us remember Sarah Palin’s remarks on ‘Death Panels’ to recognize one when we see one. And we don’t like what we see.

The American doctor has examined Charlie, and thinks improvement may be possible, and so argued, for five hours in concert with the doctor from the Vatican’s Childrens’ Hospital. The NHS was reportedly unmoved.

Ted Noel, MD writing at American Thinker has done the best job of explaining the difference between the systems in play here.

[…]And because these medical circumstances were not rare, I helped write my hospital’s policy on Futility of Care.  But Charlie Gard’s case is different from the ones I was involved with.

When Charlie Gard entered Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, England’s single-payer health system, the National Health Service, took over.  At first, it seemed that this was a good thing, since his parents didn’t have to pay extra for his care.  But they didn’t have a choice.  They weren’t in the small minority who are either wealthy enough or favorably employed to access private insurance.  So Charlie was swallowed by the Blob.

Thus far, there didn’t seem to be any difference between single-payer and private insurance.  Both start with the same level of medical care. But shortly, the differences became manifest.  When Charlie’s rare diagnosis became clear (only 16 known cases), the NHS refused to allow any sort of alternative approach.  Charlie had struck the iceberg, and the Carpathia was nowhere to be seen.

After first contact with a doctor who might be able to help, Charlie’s parents set up a crowdfunding page and raised £1.3 million (about $1.7 million).  That’s enough for any conceivable therapy.  They had become financially able to relieve the NHS of any need to care for Charlie.  All the NHS had to do was say, “Yes.”  Instead, the NHS asserted its ownership of Charlie, and multiple courts agreed.  The hospital got court orders to discontinue life support.

What would have happened in the U.S.?  When there is no reasonable probability of returning a critically ill patient to meaningful life, the situation is to be presented to the patient’s health care surrogate.  This “Legally Authorized Person” is encouraged to recognize that further care is futile and should not be undertaken.  With the LAP’s consent, it would become possible to withdraw futile care.

It is critically important to note that the LAP (typically close family) has the authority to tell the medical staff to continue care or not.  It is not up to the doctors or the hospital.  It does not matter that continuing futile care burns out staff and consumes resources.  The family is the final authority, because the family members are the ones who own all rights in this situation.  It would be unethical to proceed without their consent, because they are protecting the patient’s natural human rights, even if they conflict with the medical prognosis.

I know that speaking in terms of “ownership” sounds strange coming from a doctor.  But this is the key fact, based in natural law.  Charlie Gard’s parents “own” him.  They begot him.  They cared for him.  And when he became ill, they cared even more for him by seeking expert assistance.  They are primarily responsible for Charlie.  But single-payer NHS changes everything.

When Charlie Gard came through that Emergency Department door, the NHS took ownership of him.  It’s a classic case of the Golden Rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules.”  (Apologies to Saint Matthew.)  In essence, the NHS said that since it is paying the freight, Charlie is now the property of the State.  His parents were involuntarily dispossessed of their son.  The NHS stole him by force of law.  Parental rights inherent in natural law were “stripped away by strangers.”

That’s all of it that I can give you (and probably more than I should, sorry Dr. Noel) but this is important stuff, so read the entire article.

You know, a long time ago, a dead white guy, a Greek, wrote an oath that supposedly doctors still abide by. His name was Hippocrates. In it, he stated that above all,

“First, do no harm”

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