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The Human Face of Socialized Medicine

June 15th, 2009 by Galileo Blogs · 7 Comments · Politics

Some weeks ago a reader of my blog, Galileo Blogs, posted the story of his father-in-law, who received treatment under Canada’s system of socialized medicine. With his permission, I reproduce his story below. As President Obama this week begins his congressional push for further socializing medicine in America, consider the story of his father-in-law, and think about what socialized medicine will mean for you. Consider the “human face of socialized medicine.” My response to him follows his story.

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“I was born in Canada and have taken Canada’s socialized health care system for granted all my life that it was good – until we needed it.

My father in law, a Filipino immigrant, wasn’t feeling well so we took him in for a check up. We waited for a few more months until the testing could be arranged, and then more waiting since there were, “complications.” He had a lung cancer and we would have to wait for “6 to 8 months” before scheduling treatment.

I think he knew he was going to die and took charge. After a few months of constantly coughing, we tried to pester the doctors to speed up the waiting time. He tried his own remedies to alleviate his worsening condition like drinking Ginger soup but he could delay no longer. He and his wife decided to go back to the Philippines for treatment. The doctors there had immediately started treating him with radiation but it was already too late. He had developed a fast growing form of lung cancer and died a few weeks later.

The doctors seemed concerned but wouldn’t change the waiting times due to limited available machines and Canada’s administrative central control in this field.

The fact the Canadian health care system pretends to be based on equality hides the fact it is a socialist experiment that destroys human life and can never be sufficient enough to heal life when needed. The carrot in Canada’s healthcare system is the so called “affordability for everyone” promise, but it is an inherently bad way to go due to its built in socialization. Lives are constantly lost. Ted Harlson (Toronto, Canada)”

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Galileo Blogs’ response to Mr. Harlson:

Your story saddened and angered me. It is criminal that your father-in-law had to die because of socialized medicine.

Socialized medicine harms everyone, doctors, patients, and their families. It is deadly to human health, as your story illustrates. Socialized medicine kills.

The alternative is to recognize that doctors have the right to freely charge for their services, just as patients have the right to freely select their doctors. No one has a “right” to medical care. That care must be paid for, and when government is the payer, it means rationing care and killing off the “excess” patients that “the system” cannot afford.

No one worries about there being a shortage of cars. People do not wait in line to buy cars, clothing, or houses. That is because those markets are largely free. Each party voluntarily deals with the other. The result is an abundance of these goods willingly bought and sold in the marketplace, at times and in quantities, and at quality levels that both parties mutually and voluntarily agree on.

Recall the long lines in the Soviet Union for bread, shoes, and toilet paper. That was because their entire economy was socialized. Those Soviet-style lines have now come to medical care, because it too has become socialized in Canada and, soon I fear, the United States. Your father-in-law died waiting in one of those lines.

Please take your grief and fight back by denouncing this injustice, as you have by sharing your story.

Please accept my condolences and best wishes.

7 Comments so far ↓

  • Jim May

    A key point to remember is that those who die waiting for treatment have their ailment recorded as cause of death, not the socialized system. So there is no real way that I know of, to measure or count “death by government medicine”.

  • Galileo Blogs

    The tragedy is that it cannot easily be counted. That is all the more reason to highlight anecdotes such as this one. It puts the “human face” on this most inhuman of institutions.

    Of course, it is not a numbers game. If the rights of even one doctor or patient are violated, let alone if that patient dies, socialized medicine is immoral.

    But, if we want to play the numbers game, one can logically surmise that the death toll from socialized medicine, over time, will number millions of people whose lives will have been foreshortened due to the lack of timely and innovative treatment that capitalist medicine would have provided.

  • Myrhaf

    Moreover, we’ll never know how much longer we would all live if we had a completely free market generating more wealth, and more incentive for researcher to find cures to diseases and become billionaires selling their cures. I think it’s safe to say we’re all living shorter, less healthy lives than we would under laissez-faire capitalism.

  • The Truth About Government-run Health Care :: Michael Island

    […] The Human Face of Socialized Medicine A blog post from Galileo Blogs illustrating how socialized medicine kills people who are sick because they have to wait in lines before they are treated. He provides a letter from a reader who tells how his father-in-law died from lung cancer while waiting for months to be treated in Canada’s socialized health care system. […]

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    […] hospital presenting that kind of pain…an MRI is standard. Or 6-8 months to schedule treatment for lung cancer. Part of our cost in this country is that such equipment is more available. And if not, you are […]

  • Suzanne Young

    This is unfortunate , but may I say there are isolated incidents of this sort of thing everywhere! Especially in this country!…SURPRISE! I lived in Canada for 4 years and the health care was wonderful, not to mention vision and dental coverage as well. Not only did this relieve the stress of forking out a fortune towards “health care for profit”, as in this messed up country, about took a load off the overall cost of living for my husband and myself. I found there expertise equally as up to par as the US in all aspects! A friend of mine just had a kidney transplant in Ontario this week….it was paid for completely, with the exception of co-pays on his meds….oh can you imagine this country would bankrupt him! My dear friend who’s son resides in Vancouver B.C. underwent a knee operation was a huge success…he waited a month, big deal. It was paid for! My Mother in Montana waited 5 weeks for her MRI to diagnose her very very arthritic spine! Oh ya U.S. health care is great! What about the recent publicized case of the young 22 year old with dialated cardiomyopathy who’s sister had to fight the insurance companies for weeks to get him approved and on the transplant list…..the insurance companies refused and he , a beautiful young man is now dead!!!! His sister is now an activist lobbying against this huge ugly institution of medicine for profit here in you illustrious US!!!! You and your ridiculously uninformed idiots and big fat TEA PARTIERS! can stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine! Right wing, ignorant, paranoid of what you call socialism, ( do you even know what that is??)…Please don’t call canadians socialists, they really don’t appreciate it and it’s disrespectful! You don’t see them in dept like we are with our private sector housing rip off bubble….oh ya, all the liar loans were the liberals fault…..you know, those socialists!!!! Personally I think we need more big government done right….we need a well executed PUBLIC HEALTH CARE option desperately!!!!! We need to take the paper work and the middle man out of health care, and of all things health care should not be FOR PROFIT!!! There’s lots of other things that can and should remain in the good parts of competiton and capitolism, but NOT HEALTH CARE!! And because of your paranoia of socialism (how ignorant) you all will proceed to vote in yet another republican fundamentalist christian president who will make damn well sure we stay ON THE RIGHTEOUS PATH OF OUR FOREFATHERS!!!!!! (what a joke…like they were all sooo righteous…that’s another tale) Oh and please don’t forget that when medicare and social security came to be it was called SOCIALISM TOO!!! You IDIOTS!!!!

  • Bill Brown

    Your rant is ridiculous on its face, but lecturing us on being disrespectful? That’s rich.