Friday, July 15, 2011

Apples and Orangutans

"Death and Budgets"

Mr. Brooks has done a major disservice to a remarkable and touching essay by Mr. Clendinen. To try to weave Mr. Clendinen's contemplation of the end of his own life, and the dignity he seeks to retain in his remaining days, into a discussion on health care reform is not mixing apples with oranges but apples with orangutans.

Yes, some medical treatments are unwarranted. And yes, if Mr. Brooks had been paying attention, the President and the Democrats have been trying to reign in unnecessary health care costs by seeking to determine the most effective (including cost effective) method of treating various illnesses. For this effort, the famous chant of "death panels" was created and brandished by the Republican party.

But ineffective oversight of health care is not what Mr. Clendinen intended his words to address. If anything, this essay should be triggering a further discussion on the issue of control by the individual over the way death comes. This was a frank look at the emotional costs of living a diminished existence, not a political discourse on the finances of that life.

Mr.Brooks, sometimes it is better not to try to find parallels where none exist. Better to leave death alone and concentrate on how the Republican party is trying to take away much of the dignity of so many lives by their policies and budget cutting pronouncements.

No comments: