Someone said, ” The hospital will ask about a person’s age, when you call emergency services to send an ambulance. If the person is quite old (possibly between 80 and 90 years old) it seems that this emergency won’t be treated as an emergency.” It is easy to think that this sounds reasonable, as an aged person is naturally at Death’s door and should be allowed to go as quickly as possible. What bothers me is, whether de-prioritizing emergencies involving persons of advanced age is playing God? Who has the right to decide when you can die, even if you were 100 years or more?
However, most people seem to accept this without comment, taking it as ‘act of God’ or simply Fate. It seems so easy to accept such actions, legally taken, as just how a system operates. Any niggling doubt is laid to rest by the fact that qualified and professional people are handling the situation. Can’t qualified professionals make mistakes too?
Do the medics in Palestine and other conflict zones in the world decide who they will treat and who they don’t find worth treating? Should an elderly person hit by shrapnel who is bleeding to death, be given less priority than a teenager similarly injured and endangered? I don’t believe so, and I don’t think medics working in those situations even have time to think about it. A doctor’s vocation is to do her/his best to lessen suffering and save life, not to play God.
Systems are normally amoral, at times immoral, things. The systematic extermination of ethnic minorities, carried out under Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and Africa, seemed accepted without question until it was too widespread and too late. Human life has in this ‘modern’ era of ‘civilization’ become of almost no value. What is the life of a few workers killed in an industrial accident to some billionaire industrialist who died of cancer or the accesses of his own lifestyle?
A monetary value is often used as measure of one’s usefulness to society. Yet, on whose backs did the industrialist become rich? Who worked his manufacturing plants and cleaned, cooked and chauffeured him from A to B? Would he have had the comforts he had without these lowly workers and employees? Certainly not. No dreams and schemes could be achieved without them?
Much of the human race is inculcated with materialistic values, measuring the worth of human beings and human life, only in financial terms, economic status, levels of education and utility to political, corporate and personal schemes and plans. This is what we have become – pawns of systems void of humane values. Is there hope for the human race? I don’t know.