Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

June 6, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance

by Brad Warbiany

Sometimes you hear a guy like Kevin Drum say this:

But of course, that’s the real slippery slope. If the state is allowed to prohibit me from killing myself, what else is the state allowed to do? Can it force me to accept medical treatment that will save my life? Can it force me to accept medical treatment that might save my life? If not, why?

I’m a liberal, but I’d just as soon keep the state out of decisions like that. I’d especially like to keep the state out if there’s no compelling secular reason for them to get involved. In this case, there sure doesn’t appear to be.

And yet you wonder how he can be so tone-deaf to any similar argument coming from the mouth of a libertarian. Or, in even sharper relief, the argument that comparative effectiveness review panels might not follow a slippery slope towards “death panels”, where the folks with the pursestrings (gov’t) decides some people just aren’t worth throwing the money in to keep alive any more.

My question for Drum is simple: with all the personal decisions that he thinks government SHOULD be involved in, why is this one suddenly verboten?

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  • David K.

    We already have death panels, it’s called for profit insurance companies.

  • Akston

    Thank goodness kind bureaucrats will save us by removing any last vestiges of choice and competition by providers. I can feel the smothering warmth of state mandates, tenured indifference, and rationed scarcity settling in on me now.

    I don’t know here Drum gets this silly idea that he owns his own body.

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