How to Play God

Fascinating post on Daily Kos today, about real doctors who played god and decided who was to have a chance at staying alive.

It was the 1960′s, kidney dialysis was just being developed, and there were not enough machines to go around. Who would they treat, and how did they choose?

In nursing school we had an exercise where we had to discuss a case of 3 patients and 1 heart. Who would get the transplant? There was no right answer, the exercise was intended to get us to define the questions.

Do not doubt that Americans are dying every day, needlessly, because insurance lobbies and politicians have decided to ration care. Kidney dialysis is common today because the government stepped in to make this lifesaving treatment available to ordinary Americans.

We could reduce the number of Americans who need dialysis if we made the choice to ensure that everyone has access to primary and preventive care.

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2 responses

  1. I almost have to retch to validate anything in the Daily Kos,but I do remember the moral issue of “making the cut” to get on dialysis in the early days.What a horrible responsibility those doctors had.
    Triage in a disaster setting is also aplace to make tough choices.And we haven’t even mentioned wartime triage.

  2. you need to check out “pissydoc.com”

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