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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Doctors Lose Humanity Serving Govt. Masters



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The implosion of UK healthcare quality is a warning for the U.S. Now, Prince Charles has another complaint: He says UK doctors have lost the human touch. From the Daily Mail story:

The Health Service must learn to listen to its patients and be more caring, Prince Charles said yesterday. Modern medicine and technology are putting the ‘human touch’ at risk, according to the heir to the throne. In a heartfelt plea, he said medical schools should try to foster a climate of care and compassion among doctors. Charles’s intervention follows a series of reports of appalling treatment by NHS staff, including dying patients left screaming for water. He called on doctors and nurses to heed what patients say so they can develop the ‘healing empathy’ so badly needed.

But that’s hard to do when you have government bureaucrats yelling in your ear.

Loss of humanity is a predictable consequence of centralized control. As the quality of healthcare worsens, the technocracy kicks into high gear, issuing more regulations, guidelines, and treatment (or rationing) checklists–further devolving medicine into a deprofessionalized, connect-the-dots craft. And that can be deadly. For example, Google “Liverpool Care Pathway.”   

The same thing will happen in the U.S. once Obamacare’s cost/benefit and best care standards bureaucracies are up and running. To the technocrat, “the answer” to technocratic-caused problems is always more technocracy. 

So, here’s a suggestion for the Prince: Call for greater decentralization–and dare I say it–more privitization. That, rather than “be compassionate” regulations issued from on high, would do the most to increase the humanity of the UK health system.



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