A Newsmax host said the other night that while he’s not an “anti-vaxxer,” he feels vaccines “stand in the way” of nature and the “ebb and flow” of diseases killing swaths of people. Okay, fine. Now he should never be allowed to receive medical treatment for anything. Broken arm? Strep throat? Torn ACL? Chest pains? Sorry, pal, the doctor won’t see you because that would be “standing in the way” of nature.
I’m reminded of several years ago when I was talking on my radio show about the Right To Die and physician-assisted death, which is now legal in 11 states. I’m strongly in favor of allowing able-minded people to decide when they want their lives to end, perhaps because of a terminal disease, perhaps because of some condition that means they’ll have to endure terrible pain as long as they live. When my father was in the last stages of an illness that took years to kill him, reducing his quality of life to near zero, my mother and brother and I all agreed that if, at any point, he told us it was too much to bear, we’d do everything we could to alleviate his suffering — up to and including giving him a Final Exit cocktail of medications that would have ended his life.
After I explained that on the air, I received a steady string of calls from people who agreed because they’d been through it with their own relatives. But then one woman called and said no one has the right to choose when you die or how long you live except god. I’d heard this kind of religious zealotry before, so I asked her the question that always stumps people like that: “If you were hit by a bus tomorrow and were lying in the street bleeding and screaming in pain, would you want someone to call an ambulance to take you to a hospital, where human doctors and nurses might be able to prolong your life through science and medicine? Of do you want to just lie there in the street and let god handle it?”
Having no logical response, she harrumphed a couple of times without forming an actual sentence, followed by the sound of the phone call ending. I paused, then told my audience I was also in favor of the Right To Hang Up.
I guarantee you that this Newsmax loudmouth isn’t really in favor of the kind of social Darwinism he espoused. He’s just saying something outrageous because that’s all he knows how to do (and must, if he wants to keep his job on that outlet). Of course, he thought he was covered by beginning his remarks with, “I’m not a doctor, but….”
For my money, you can ignore any medical “advice” that follows that modifying clause, no matter who says it.