During a radio interview over the weekend, a Princeton University professor asserted it is “reasonable for governments” to deny infants benefits based on costs.
Ethics professor Peter Singer appeared on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” Sunday, a program simulcast on AM 970 The Answer in New York and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia. Singer was on the program to promote his new book, The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically.
Hailed by The New Yorker as the planet’s “most influential living philosopher,” the Australian says his work “is based on the assumption that clarity and consistency in our moral thinking is likely, in the long run, to lead us to hold better views on ethical issues.”
When asked by Klein if health care rationing will become more commonplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare, Singer said rationing is already underway.
“If an infant is born with a massive hemorrhage in the brain that means it will be so severely disabled that if the infant lives it will never even be able to recognize its mother, it won’t be able to interact with any other human being, it will just lie there in the bed and you could feed it but that’s all that will happen, doctors will turn off the respirator that is keeping that infant alive,” Singer said.
I don’t know whether they are influenced by reducing costs. Probably they are just influenced by the fact that this will be a terrible burden for the parents to look after, and there will be no quality of life for the child. So we are already taking steps that quite knowingly and intentionally are ending the lives of severely disabled infants.
“And I think we ought to be more open in recognizing that this happens,” added Singer.
During the interview, the Australian professor consistently referred to a baby as “it” rather than “him” or “her.” When Klein asked if Singer thought treatment could be denied to infants in the future for reasons other than costs, the professor answered in the affirmative.
“I think if you had a health-care system in which governments were trying to say, ‘Look, there are some things that don’t provide enough benefits given the costs of those treatments. And if we didn’t do them we would be able to do a lot more good for other people who have better prospects,’ then yes,” answered Singer.
I think it would be reasonable for governments to say, ‘This treatment is not going to be provided on the national health service if it’s a country with a national health service. Or in the United States on Medicare or Medicaid.’
And I think it will be reasonable for insurance companies also to say, ‘You know, we won’t insure you for this or we won’t insure you for this unless you are prepared to pay an extra premium, or perhaps they have a fund with lower premiums for people who don’t want to insure against that.’
“Because I think most people, when they think about that, would say that’s quite reasonable. You know, I don’t want my health insurance premiums to be higher so that infants who can experience zero quality of life can have expensive treatments,” Singer concluded.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth