Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blame it on the National Health

In his vapid and wandering editorial, "Is There a Right to Health Care?", "Theodore Dalrymple" pens an amazing paragraph:

"Not coincidentally, the U.K. is by far the most unpleasant country in which to be ill in the Western world. Even Greeks living in Britain return home for medical treatment if they are physically able to do so."

So, for no good reason, my boy throws an entire country under the bus! People, things are so bad in the UK that even the wretched GREEKS crawl back to their ancient hovels and witchdoctors rather than face the horror of the National Health.

I can't think of a more convincing way to argue that there is no such thing as a right to health care, can you?

The author makes another stab at the argument here:

"Whenever I deny the existence of a right to health care to a Briton who asserts it, he replies, “So you think it is all right for people to be left to die in the street?”

When I then ask my interlocutor whether he can think of any reason why people should not be left to die in the street, other than that they have a right to health care, he is generally reduced to silence. He cannot think of one."

So every single Brit gives exactly the same answer? And my oh my "Theodore", what a devastating reply you have. Except that IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE OR HAVE ANY RELEVANCE TO YOUR ALLEGED POINT!!

Let me put this in terms simple enough that even a pretentious British physician with a ridiculous pen name might be able to understand:

Anecdotes about failures (or successes) of socialize medicine can never prove anything, one way or the other, about the existence of a right to health care.


Tom said...

There cannot be a right to anything that another person must work to provide.

To assert such a right is to claim those persons as slaves.

Dirty Davey said...

Nice slogan, Tom, but not actually a good argument.

Simply enforcing even simple property rights requires other persons to work to provide and/or fund law enforcement services. By your "logic", we could conclude that there "cannot be" property rights.

Tom said...

Claiming a right to property means that I can defend my property. Does Dirty Davey think only (tax-paid) cops do that? On the planet where I live, cops do very little of that and, for the "services" they provide, they forcefully insist that there be no other providers.

Comparing property (the product of MY effort) to health care (the product of others' effort) just dramatizes the point.

Tom said...

There is more good commentary on health care v. natural rights on The Independent Institute's blog, starting with a nice a analogy by Jonah Goldberg. Basically, suppose your right to freedom of religion were subject to a government panel of experts, who would ration your commitments.

Anonymous said...

Isn't he throwing two countries under the bus? Saying even the Greeks go home aint sayin' good things about Greece

Angus said...

Actually, I was referring to Greece in the post, but you are right, the UK has tire tracks on it too!

Michael Greenspan said...

I think Dalrymple put it that way because Greece is the EU country farthest from Britain.

Darryl Theodore said...

How, exactly, does one prove or disprove the existence of a right? You seem to know, "Angus," yet refrain from telling us.

It does not seem unreasonable to respond to someone's claim of a "right" to something by discussing the consequences of real-world attempts to provide such an entitlement. So the actual substance of your attack on "Dalrymple" is merely that he used anecdotes to discuss policy. You then follow up on this by contributing a post on the health-care debate that consists entirely of a photograph.

Impressive stuff.