Thursday, May 08, 2008

Competent Adults or Dependent Babies?

Do other people know enough to make their own decisions? Are they smart enough to use books, the internet, or other resources to find out what they need to know to make smart decisions? Are they smart enough to realize when they need more knowledgeable help? Could being "babied" by the nanny-state for generations have created a stupid population that now needs to be protected from itself? Should helplessness be encouraged, or should it be allowed to do its job and be eliminated from the gene pool?

Are YOU competent to make your own decisions? If you can read this, then yes, you are.

I recently had an annoying health issue (which I will not go into) that I self-diagnosed with the help of the internet and books, found a solution, and treated myself. I will admit, not enough time has passed for me to be able to tell you whether or not I have cured myself or not. So, if I soon die mysteriously, you will know why. The liberty to live as an adult is, to me, worth the risk.

In the interactions I have had with doctors, the diagnosis has been hit or miss. Just get an odd disease and see how long it takes for a doctor to figure out the problem. I once had "rat bite fever"; caused in my case by Streptobacillus moniliformis. It took over a week to be diagnosed, even though in my first doctor visit I had told the doc that I had recently been bitten by a rat and had had some symptoms show up within a couple days. After a battery of tests, over the course of a week, the doctor asked me if I had been bitten by a rat. I answered "yes", thinking "What did I tell you the first time I came here?" Doctors are useful, no doubt, but should not be over-valued.

Anyway, freedom includes the freedom to make your own mistakes and accept the consequences. The information is out there for all to see and use. You do not need a specialist for every health problem, and should have the liberty to choose the level of expertise you need for your particular situation. Private certification could more efficiently demonstrate the qualifications of the doctors you could choose between.

"Buyer beware" is always good advice, but is no reason to give up your own responsibility. Government oversight, paperwork, and licensing is not needed, and raises the price of medical care beyond the reach of many people.

Once again, government is obsolete.