Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Terror/Medicine Connection

[Welcome Industry Radar readers!]
Bob's been taking a lot of heat for the title of his recent post about the dangers of nationalized health care, and amidst that kerfluffle, I think a number of important issues have been left unaddressed by those who object to that title.
First, although we're a medblog, not a poliblog (political blog), there are some undeniably political undertones to the subject at hand. For example, those who feign offense at the term "terrorism" when applied to health care seem to have missed the fact that, daily, much of our "regular" media call those who blow up others "insurgents," or "militants," but rarely (if ever) "terrorists." So I not only don't think that the word is overused; if anything, it's not used enough.
Second, although this seems to have gone unremarked in the medblogosphere, many (perhaps most) of those involved in the recent terror attacks in Great Britain have themselves been physicians. One supposes that, for them, the Hippocratic oath has a somewhat unusual application:
In fact, all of the physicians involved were employees of the National Health Service. Now, whether or not it's fair to indict the entire system for the actions of a few may be up for debate, but it's no coincidence that these folks were doctors for the NHS: for some time, medical personnel have been "fast-tracked" for immigration into Britain (as they were here, as well, in our 9/10 world). One is free to draw one's own conclusions from this set of facts, of course, but it should certainly mean that the discussion is relevant.
And necessary.
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