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<<<In some countries, China for example, the government does not pay for the care of premature infants. If you have a preemie, you can either pay for care or let nature take it's course (let the child die). Poor families have no choice.>>>

When you have 1.3 billion people to take care of, you finally have to make these kind of decisions. On my medical mission trips, I have learned a little more on how their medical care works, or doesn't. The government will take care of accidents or catastrophic care. I did anesthesia for an explosive related accident. You can imagine the time and materials involved, although not nearly as much as would've been in the U.S. or any other industrial country. The government picked up the tab. However, I did other cases where my anesthetic choice was limited because of what the patient could afford. (Note: I did bring as many supplies as I could but there are limits to what I can transport accross borders)

To me, this is along the lines of what Medicare/Medicaid should be like. Cover catastrophic events, preventative medicine, and other very basic needs. Everything else out of pocket. Might not sound idealic but you have to draw the line somewhere and we don't need to wait for our population to reach a billion to think about it.

As far as the "million dollar babies". That's a tough call. Thirty years ago a premie less that 32 weeks didn't survive. Now it's down to 26 weeks. Thirty years from now we might be able to go from test tube fertilization to "birth". Occasionally we have to test the limits of technology, but we definitely need to think about the ethical consequences before hand.

Right now, the technology is not there. I'm more for calling the dogs off and letting nature take it's course. Overall, the human race is not under threat of extinction.

JLC


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