Last Friday night, we had a great dinner at Ruth’s Chris steak house. You know the drill, top shelf cocktails, excellent appetizers, sides from marinated mushrooms to sweet potato soufflé to lobster mac ‘n cheese, passed around over filets, strips, and porterhouses, washed down with excellent wine. And yeah, the bill was estimable, not mortgage crushing, but I couldn’t eat there every night. The point? Money buys things.
The bleeding heart known as the Associated Press has passed on another arterial spurt over how the wealthy have a better ‘in’ when it comes time to swap out an organ. The fat cats apparently are more likely to get on multiple waiting lists for organ transplants, and ““Multiple-listed patients were more likely to get transplanted and less likely to die,” said Dr. Raymond Givens at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.” NO! “It’s a rational thing to do” from an individual patient’s point of view, but it raises fairness questions, and the policy should be reconsidered, he said.” And here is where I throw my diamond-crusted TV remote against my platinum-bordered widescreen in anger, scaring the cat (who has his own stylist). Yet another doctor seeks to publicly trade on his own ostentatious compassion for the adoration of the masses.
Givens led a study that pertains to the “More than 122,000 Americans are wait-listed for an organ, including more than 100,000 who need kidneys. As of July, only 18,000 transplants have been done this year.”
“The United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, the agency that runs the nation’s transplant system under a government contract, assigns organs based on a formula that considers medical urgency, tissue type, distance from the donor, time spent on the waiting list and other factors.”
And how exactly is a quasi-government organization MORE fair than the market? “UNOS has considered banning or limiting multiple listings three times, most recently in 2003, said spokesman Joel Newman.” What could be the rationale for banning multiple listings made by those with more intelligence, more drive, more connections, and yes, more wealth than their neighbors?
But some people think patients should be free to go wherever they want to improve their odds, and UNOS now requires that transplant centers tell them about this option.”
“Robert Veatch, a medical ethicist at Georgetown University Medical Center and a longtime member of the UNOS ethics committee who thinks the policy should be changed”, thinks money makes travel and searching easier for the rich. Yes, and it makes it easier to purchase a luxury car, get your kid into a private school, have a beach house, or create new corporations that create wealth and jobs for others. Come to think of it, one could make the argument that the wealthy having greater access to organ donations is of greater economic benefit to the general population, if one were willing to be pilloried by the herd media. Speaking of Jobs, Givens slams the former Apple CEO for being on multiple transplant lists and receiving a liver in Tennessee while he lived in California. Givens is intent on demonstrating his compassion: “Givens and colleagues studied UNOS records from 2000 to 2013 and found that multiple-listed patients had higher transplant rates, lower death rates while waiting, were wealthier and were more likely to have private insurance.” At this point I’m laughing, wondering whether Givens was a supporter of the ACA, telling listeners how it would promote fairness by increasing coverage…
Money buys things, and the rich will always do better than the rest. Fighting against that means fighting against the individual, which is – or ought to be – antithetical to the best of western medicine. Class warriors like Dr. Givens and the AP want to subordinate medicine to populist optics. That has been the basis for government interference in medicine, for capital cronyism with Big Insurance, and for the disaster that is the ACA. The logical extension is to serve one dollar burgers in Ruth’s Chris, and not require a jacket, all in the name of a nebulous fairness.Tweet