[Marxism] Re: Andy Coates re recrudensce Schiavo etc.

hari.kumar at sympatico.ca hari.kumar at sympatico.ca
Sat Apr 9 09:25:35 MDT 2005

Hi Andy:

You wrote:
"I pointed out that people have been rushing this week employ existing bourgeois law to protect themselves and their loved ones from state 
intervention in their deaths by filling out health-care proxies and living wills.  Is this ultra-leftism?
"Any serious consideration of changing the reality of our present culture surrounding the end of life conjures up the crying need for social change of revolutionary proportions."  Is that silliness? 
Thank you for taking the time to dismiss my essay."

Firstly - let me frankly apologise.
I did not even mean to hint at any dismissal of your essay, which I found interesting and useful.

Much less eloquently than yourself, I think I had said something fairly similar before at this list - on the same topic. 
So - please accept my apology.

What I was moving onto - & I hope now, you can allow me to do that? - 
Was an objection to the implication of the uselessness of any reforms in the system under Capital.
This was the simple point - perhaps naive point - that I tried to make.
Workers in the health care industry are often in a profound dilemma where the patient in front of them - is an individual - whose problems ultimately cannot be dealt with except by grappling with the NOW realities 

I am sure you follow that - since this clear note was contained in your case histories. The fact that it was belied by the footnote tag - was unfortunate. 

I linked my comment with Les's comment re IT - since that ALSO carried an implication that all was hopeless under capital. 

Well - yes & no. 
Yes - in the sense that as a M-ist I do believe that all will crumble in time... & will only be better under a socialist system...... if only we could build that movement to take advantage of the objective factors that are definitely on our side and accelerating at a rapid daily pace.
But, as your own case histories imply/show - you cannot say that looking a family in the eye as their black cerebral palsy child dies of peritonitis. Nor can I say it when looking at the eyes of parents whose baby with bronchopulmonary dysplasis cannot find a home help for airway care for delivery of oxygen due to poverty. Of what value are speeches at such junctures? 

Both posts to which I replied - were linked with the implication in Guevera's tag-line - 'nothing possible under capital'.

This - my main objection is not in any way novel, & I suspect given the daily case histories that you battle with, result in views not dissimilar:
Namely that to say 'revolution will make the health care system meaningful' - is both everything and nothing. 

Virchov - not only said: "Politics is Medicine writ large" - but practiced as a physician. 
Guevera - did not practice much as I recall. 
[I have not re-checked his bios].
W.Silverman, left neonatology because "it was useless saving a preterm baby, sending her home to Harlem, only to find her in the Emergency Room next week with her nose bitten off by a rat".
But Bill still ploughed on by creating the discipline of Evidence Based Neonatology.

Forgive me again for leaving you wiht the impression I did not appreciate your fine article - as well as the daily garppling with capitalist debris that it shows you engage in. 

With Sincere Apology,
Hari K


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