Being Deserving is not the Same as Being Entitled

Dave Killion — May 7, 2012

According to information on the Facebook group ‘Help Save Souris Dialysis‘,11 patients residing in and around the town of  Souris, Prince Edward Island,  may be losing perfect access to their dialysis sessions. At Liberty PEI, Libertarian Book Club member Ashley Johnston offers a libertarian critique of the group’s view regarding healthcare entitlement. Here’s a taste –

“Words have meaning and the above quote (we ALL deserve nothing but the best healthcare) means that we should all get all treatments available. Even if all of the communities resources paid for nothing else, no food, no shelter, no roads, and all of that money was put into healthcare there would still be treatments that we could not afford. So then let’s even take away the hyperbole and revise the statement to read, ‘we all deserve the healthcare we can reasonably afford.’ Assuming you could find a bureaucrat with enough ‘reason’ to handle my money wisely (I won’t hold my breath), this still fails morally because of coercive taxes, and still has to be shown to be the optimum method of saving lives.”

Ashley’s takedown is thorough and complete. My take-away is this; no one has the right to forcefully take the possessions of one party and give them to another, and there is nothing about the second party’s needs, wants, or deserts that creates a right where one didn’t exist before. Understanding this very simple point is the line that demarcates the libertarian from the authoritarian.


Rikimae says

I think you guys missed the point entirely. They are not closing the dialysis units because of money. They are doing it because they believe that streamlining services in a central location (in this case, 2 locations) will help to meet the increasing demand. However, I fail to see how closing 2 dialysis units, removing seats, will help to meet increasing demand. Also, with dialysis, it’s not something you can just decide not to do, and expect to continue to live. It must be done at least 3 times a week to sustain life. This move does not just inconvenience 19 patients (both Souris and Alberton units will be closing), but it will overstress the nursing staff, which are already overworked. This move could kill people, either from the stress of traveling or from mistakes made by tired, overworked staff.

— May 7, 2012

Chris Murphy says

The previous commenter is accurate it is not really an issue of money here, and, there is much more to this than just monetary issues. My Mother has to go to Dialysis on a very regular basis or she might not be alive this move by the Government is simply the pitts if you have someone requiring this treatment. We are not some big city with a gazillion Drs and Nurses all over the place. This is a small Island, and, we have people whom just might not be able to make such a trip from one place to another and human life is at stake in the process.

— May 11, 2012

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