Introduction to theories from hell

by Alice Mailhot
copyright 1994, Mouth magazine

If I were listing the most dangerous people in the U.S. today, bioethicists, aka medical ethicists, would top my list - 'way above skinheads, whose beliefs they appear to share.

Bioethicists live off tax dollars and wealthy foundations. They teach medical professionals and community elites to decide who lives and who dies.

Bioethicists are selling death to communities right now as health care rationing. Their message: to plan a health care system, first decide who pays for it. They call this a "grassroots" movement.

Bioethicists see cost savings in cheap and early death. "Preventive medicine drives up the ultimate cost of health care to society by enlarging the population of the elderly and infirm. The child who would have died from polio will grow up to be a very expensive old man or woman.... Good medicine keeps sick people alive, thereby increasing the number of sick people in the population." - Willard Gaylin, M.D. and renowned bioethicist, Harpers Magazine, October 1993.

Note how money outweighs life. Note how Gaylin divides people: "elderly and infirm" vs everyone else.

And on that note: "If we assume that the disabled do not have a right to unlimited health care because no one has such a right, then are the disabled morally obligated to establish their own health priorities for themselves within the context of a limited budget?... I believe that this question requires an affirmative answer, painful as it might be for the disabled themselves." - Leonard Fleck, Ph.D., "Just Caring: Health Care and the Disabled," Medical Humanities Report, Spring 1992.

If we agree to fight each other for a bite of "our" slice of the pie, exactly who is slicing the pie? Bioethicists?

Gatekeeping is another way to ration health care. Bioethicists teach medical professionals to put community health (and wealth) first, to count the cost of taking care of us against our apparent value to society.

"The danger [of a doctor being partial to his/her patients] is the fragmentation of the moral community and the claims of impartiality. Concerns regarding justice seem especially jeopardized by this fragmentation... How partial may a physician be to his/her patients?" - Leonard Fleck, Ph.D., "Justice, Partiality, and the Doctor-Patient Relationship," Medical Humanities Report, Fall 1990

I go to a doctor for health care. Who goes to be judged? Who goes for "justice?"

What has happened to the doctor's duty to patients?

Bioethics happened.