Elitists Say Sacrifice Babies and Grandparents

In response to an article in the Toronto Star, May 12, 2006
Treat Elderly Last in Pandemic: Study

BL Fisher Note:
Just about anyone with an M.D. or Ph.D. can call themselves an "ethicist"
these days and feel free to appoint themselves judge of who will live and
who will die. There is a tendency for public health types employed by the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to believe they are in charge
of deciding which groups of individuals within society are expendable for
the "greater good." Whether it is maintaining that the casualties of forced
vaccination are expendable or, in the case of this pandemic flu "study,"
that babies and children under 13 and parents and grandparents over 40 are
expendable, these elitists wield the ugly utilitarian ratonale like a club.
Those who believe utiliitarianism has a shred of morality within its
philosophy, should read the post World War II transcripts of The Doctor's
Trial at Nuremberg. Revealed there, for all the world to see, is why it is
dangerous and inherently immoral to use the utilitarian psuedo ethic to
support any State policy.

Emanuel and Wertheimer's suggestion that babies and children under 13 are
expendable and should be denied vaccine in a lethal flu pandemic is forcing
a "Sophie's Choice" on parents and grandparents over and under 40. It is a

However, if an experimental pandemic flu vaccine is as dangerous as the flu
it purports to protect against, ironically the policy of denying the very
youngest ones the vaccine might end up saving them. In the 1918 influenza
pandemic, about one-third of the population became infected and about 10
percent of those infected died. The vaccine benefit risk ratio might well
tip in favor of either escaping infection or recovering naturally from the
disease rather than deliberately taking a risk with an experimental pandemic
flu vaccine.

But if a pandemic flu vaccine were really the low risk lifesaver it is meant
to be, a more humane prioritizing of scarce vaccine supplies might be to
allocate them to those with the greatest chance of dying from the infection.
And that would be entirely dependent upon the nature of the particular
influenza virus circulating and whether it was especially lethal for certain
groups of individuals.

The serious business of deciding who gets a lifeboat when the ship is
sinking should involve people from all segments of society. The people, not
the "experts," should decide.

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