Saving Social Security by Sacrificing
The Lives of Those Who Are Already 'Dead.'
Eric Renderking Fisk | March 31st, 2005
I believe that anyone can accurately predict the future by checking out the top news stories and see where they overlap and intersect. At the very least you can see what the next hot topic and theme for the news will become. In the past few months we have "Saving Social Security," the fight over activist judges and future appointments to the Supreme Court, Stem cell research and the "Right To Die" controversy with Terri Schiavo and her quasi vegetative state.
Where these issues over lap lead me to believe that the biggest issue is going to be Bio-Ethics. As our understanding of technology outpaces our wisdom, we will be able to do things never before possible, as we'll be unable to judge whether or not we should do these things. My greatest concern is our inability to respect new life or people who are living a lower quality of life in favor of the lives of others. It's not on the immediate horizon that we're going to sacrifice the lives of one group to preserve or inherence the lives of another group, but it's on the road map and easy to get to with a few bad turns.
Legal Definitions of "Life" pave the way for future crimes against Humanity
What's going on in Florida and Washington D.C. isn't just about the death of Terri Schiavo, a feeding tube and her "Right To Die." This is also about Euthanasia for trimming the cost of social medicine and Social Security. A politician is going to introduce a bill to use the Terri Schiavo precedence made in during this crisis with Congress getting involved and trying to over-ruling the Florida Judicial system as a means of "Saving Social Security" and to blur the lines and definition of life to clear the way for reckless medical research.
How soon are politicians on BOTH sides of the isle going to come up with some "doctors" and "scientists" who have "evidence" that people in special conditions may not be "brain dead" but are "devoid of having a soul or consciousness" for there own needs? And how soon are there going to be laws passed giving family members "the right" to pull the plug at will to save a little money and convenience?
What would happen if in the next few years and if my father is in a nursing home with Alzheimer or the victim of a stroke, can't speak for himself and is costing the State and Federal Government a $100,000 a year to keep him warehoused in a nursing home. And this is happening during a time when the government is spending more on such programs as social security and medical expenses then it's able to take in. Someone knocks at my door saying they'll give me a one time "buy-out" if I’ll testify that once upon a time my dad didn't want to live like this and wanted to be put to sleep like we did after the cat got sick. Who's to say that scenario wouldn't or couldn't happen? Who's to say that a government of the future wouldn't tap into a family's grief, the need to move on and greed to save a faltering health care system unable to pay for it's earlier commitment to the citizens? Who's to say that such a thing wouldn't happen in Europe or Asia first?
Who's to say that in a similar scenario that any family that has an child with Autism that's costing the country a few thousand dollars a year and the Government offers the same family the option to put this little boy to sleep with a cash bonus if they can harvest the organs?
Who's to say that the media wouldn't work to change public opinion and hype this as a means of "benefiting everyone" while at the same time activists on both sides of the political isle vote to give family members incentives to pull the plug as another aspect of exercising "choice"?
The New Nazis of Medical Science
My concerns is that the media and the governments of the world will be able to manipulate morally, public opinion and logic to allow us to do some of the same things we prosecuted the Nazis for doing in the death camps six decades ago. In short, Josef Mengele would be come a medical hero, the "Galileo" of science who was wrongly persecuted because of his visionary approach of sacrificing the weak lower classes to save the cultural elite.
There are already Kidneys and other organs on the Black Market… how soon are we going to see it's socially expectable to harvest the organs of men and women who are in a vegetative state in our institutions, or conduct grotesque experiments on the lower classes in an effort to "better society?"
There are already celebrities that we admire for no other reason because they have submitted themselves to cosmetic surgery to conform to our modern grotesque standards of beauty, parents have new children to provide an organ that's needed by an older sibling, there are perception drug companies who knew about the dangerous side effects of some products but kept them on the market longer then they should have…
Combine these mindsets and attitudes towards youth, beauty and health and what would be the conclusion?
It's been difficult to write this rant with out applying my own questions and beliefs about God and morality, and it's hard to not put myself in the shoes of those involved. How would I have reacted if something like this happened to my wife or one of my own children… would I act differently in each situation? Would I pull the plug on my wife while fight to keep one of my sons alive or vise versa?
I'm not going to pretend that the views I've stated above are accurate predictions of what the future holds, or that I have a keen insight in what's going to happen as if I'm some sort of Prophet. I'm not saying that that my "vision" is what will happen or what should happen, I'm saying that those are my fears and I'm concerned that it might happen and that people will be vilified for simply ask to take a minute and think about the long term implications of our actions.
I'm not going to pretend either that I'm trying to speak for those who can't speak for themselves, knowing that each situation is different and I'm unable and unwilling to judge accordingly. My concern and reason for this rant is that I question where we're going and what we're doing with no forethought to what's happening and how we should be judged if we choose to devalue life for the benefit of others. We fought a war because one group put it's self above all others… how different are we if we don't even stop and ask questions about the ethics?
What's going to happen in the future when the paths of medicine, greed and immorality cross as we forget all the lessons we were supposed to learn from history? I can imagine even greater horrors as we ignore the plight of the less fortunate. Since none of us think daily of the people in third world nations that are suffering due to starvation, thirst or the rule of tyrannical dictators, how easy is it to forget the people in our own country that we don't’ see regularly in our own hospitals and institutions? There's no media coverage of the thousand other Terri Schiavo’s out there… and because of that they simply don't exist and nobody cares.
If the government and our courts can ignore the moral questions, the questionable motivations of Terri Schiavo’s husband, ignore the observations made by some of the medical professionals… if we're so worried about a judicial system that now takes it upon itself to legislate from the bench and half the population is concerned about an "unelected President who's out of control," who's to say that there won't come a time when politicians won't start making "tough" decisions for us that's for the "greater good of society?"
This case in Florida might the first step towards killing off the weak in an attempt to save social - Medical programs in the Western World. We devalue life after conception if the mother is having a bad day, we devalue life through violence in the media, we forget the people who are too old or too sick; how soon before we start extinguishing life for monetary reasons? Not next week or next month, but with in a few years?
How soon is the "Right To Die" right going to be abused and manipulated into the "Obligation to die" once you've exceeded your costs?
I'm not saying that any of these horrors of our imagine imagination will happen… I'm saying that they could if we don't at least be courageous enough to ask the thoughtful questions.
How soon will euthanasia be used to solve social problems?