Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Schiavo, Congress, and the Rest of Us

Since the Republican-controlled congress showed such fervor over trying to get a feeding tube re-inserted into the clinically-unresponsive Terry Schiavo, were you wondering how members of congress react to the requests of medical lobbyists for funding that could save millions of lives? The Associated Press, via CNN, has the tidy, ironic answer to this question in a comprehensive yet simple study: they don’t. As one physician, who is looking for money to have Medicare screening for aortic aneurysms in older people, puts it, “Yes, the Schiavo case is tragic, but the reality is on average about 40 people a day are going to be dying of ruptured aneurysms." But there’s no political hay to be made over funding that wouldn’t make even a minor headline. So we could say that Terry Schiavo’s life is worth a million of the rest of ours, to congress, that is.

By the way, the brief comment in the AP article, about the flu vaccine not being profitable for the manufacturer--that's another pharmaceutical-company fabrication to throw more smoke into the public-relations mirrors of the multi-billion dollar vaccine business. That's enough to really make me sick.

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