Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crux of the health care debate

In his latest column, Cal Thomas says the nature of human beings is at the crux of the "health care reform" debate:
Underlying it all is a larger question: Is human life something special? Is it to be valued more highly than, say, plants and pets? When someone is in a "persistent vegetative state" do we mean to say that person is equal in value to a carrot?

Are we now assigning worth to human life, or does it arrive with its own pre-determined value, irrespective of race, class, IQ, or disability?
The question at issue when we consider health care rationing based on "quality of life" considerations is the same question underlying the controversy over abortion and embryo-destructive research. Do human beings possess intrinsic moral value? Are they valuable in themselves, simply by virtue of what they are, regardless of ability and the opinion of others?