VFTB 012: Wesley J. Smith — Health Care and Human Exceptionalism



WE ARE pleased to talk again with award winning author Wesley J. Smith, a Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Bioethics at the Discovery Institute. He is also a consultant to the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, and a special consultant for the Center for Bioethics and Culture.

His book Forced Exit: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide and the New Duty to Die (1997, Times Books), is now in its third edition published by Encounter Books. Smith’s Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, a warning about the dangers of the modern bioethics movement, was named one of the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Best Health Book of the Year for 2001 (Independent Publisher Book Awards).

Smith’s most recently published book is Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World, in which he explores the morality, science, and business aspects of human cloning, stem cell research, and genetic engineering. His next book, a critical look at the animal rights/liberation movement, will be published in January, 2010 by Encounter Books.

Wesley’s blog, Secondhand Smoke, is essential reading if you want to stay informed about the ongoing bioethics debate in this strange new world of trans- and post-humanism.

We discussed the Obamacare proposals now winding through the U.S. Congress and the dangers posed by a system designed and controlled by bioethicists who deny that humans are unique among the species on planet Earth.

Come visit our Facebook page, and check out the like-minded Christian podcasters at the Revelations Radio Network.

Click the arrow on the player below to listen now, or right-click (control-click if you have a Mac) the “download” link to save the mp3 file to your hard drive.

10 comments on “VFTB 012: Wesley J. Smith — Health Care and Human Exceptionalism

  1. Pingback: Twitted by djleenieman

  2. Pingback: COACHEP » Blog Archive » Posts about Obama Health Care Failure as of September 7, 2009

  3. Pingback: “Health Care Reform and Human Exceptionalism” » Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog

  4. Robert Burke

    40 Million Americans with out any health care coverage and the millions who have inadequate coverage has ethical implications.

    Decisions are being made everyday by private for profit companies in the US on who lives and who dies.

    Americans need to decided whether heath care a right or a privilege.

    My last comment is that next time you have an “expert” talking about Canadian health care it would be nice to actualy have on a Canadian.

  5. Derek Post author

    Robert: 40 million overstates the problem. 6 million or so are illegals. Another 9 million have family incomes over $75,000 a year. About 12 million uninsured are eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP.

    It’s still a big problem, no question (I’m sure not happy with the cost), but it’s not as big as the president asserts.

    And you are correct that for-profit corporations make life and death decisions every day. But at least with a for-profit provider, the patient has some leverage precisely because providers must turn a profit.

    Fair comment about our references to Canadian medicine, but even so, no one has adequately explained why a service provider freed from the pesky responsibility of keeping enough customers happy to stay in business — i.e., turning a profit — has an incentive to provide good service.

    Access to health care should be a right, I agree. The president and his allies don’t want to make it a right; they want it to be a requirement.

  6. Robert Burke

    Harvard Study: 45,000 Uninsured Die Every Year

    Having no health insurance means an early death to almost 45,000 people in the United States annually – almost two-and-a-half times the number previously estimated -– according to a study published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.

    Where is the out rage for these 45,0000 people? Never heard you or Mr Smith bring up this shameful number.

  7. Derek Post author

    I wasn’t aware of that shameful number. It’s far too high if it’s accurate. I’m sure the fact that the study was released by Physicians for a National Health Program had no effect on the results.

    But the key question is would the Obama health care proposal save them? Not if the complaints coming from the UK are any indication.

    You seem to think that I favor letting the ill and indigent just suffer and die. If that’s the case, then I didn’t make myself clear: health care in the United States is far too expensive which restricts care to far too many people. There is no question about that. It is a shame that people in an advanced society have to choose between food and health care.

    However, taking a government-run system that the President says is already on the verge of bankruptcy and adding 1-1/2 times the population of Canada to it is a bad plan. The government should limit itself to cracking down on monopolies and encouraging competition to hold down costs. When the government enters a market it distorts the market, and usually not for the better. See the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage debacle.

    At least when the government tried to reform the housing market, we only lost our home and our credit rating. We’ve still got our health–for now.

  8. fliteking

    Robert: the 40 million uninsured seems to be the same skewed numbers the Obama Admin uses to justify controlling the masses with their own version of a giant HMO.

    People make choices. Those choices include not buying insurance; not taking care of their families. As Derek points out, the odds of a Gov program fixing this are grim.

    Although I do not want to argue about the Canadian system, I can tell you I have 2 relatives that have completed their cancer care in Chicago because of the wait and limited treatment options in Canada, and they did this at great cost… so much for “free” health care being a first choice when it comes to serious illness.

    Do you have a link for the Harvard Study?

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