Here’s an interesting article The Ethics of Sustainable Healthcare Reform by bioethicist Jessica Pierce and Dan Bednarz, co-editor of Health after Oil, on the necessity of approaching the healthcare system from the perspective that Wendell Berry calls “solving for pattern.”
Pierce and Bednarz look at the healthcare system costs in our national economy (16% of national economy) and why reform is necessary to get us out of the economic death-spiral in which U.S. market-capitalism finds itself. They also look at how the medical industry builds up massive ecological debt–a debt that will have to be paid sooner, rather than later.
Simply stated, the present healthcare system is unsustainable for two sets of (interconnected) reasons, fiscal and ecological. The fiscal side receives attention in the current debate, but most discussion underestimates the problems and proposes solutions that provide little more than temporary band-aids. It is in the main unappreciated that the nation is in socioeconomic decline—primarily in the form of massive debt and defaults on that debt, deflation of asset values, and unemployment—which threatens the present healthcare system. Our collective understanding of the ecological dimension is abysmal, especially its connection to the economy, and if grasped would lead to the abandonment of politics and business as usual in medicine and throughout society.
Read the whole article here.