The English Heritage of Liberty Posted by: Dale Franks
on Monday, September 03, 2007
After taking several days off to go out of town—an adventure that I will share in due course—I come home to read this from Great Britain:
A pregnant woman has been told that her baby will be taken from her at birth because she is deemed capable of "emotional abuse", even though psychiatrists treating her say there is no evidence to suggest that she will harm her child in any way.
Social services' recommendation that the baby should be taken from Fran Lyon, a 22-year-old charity worker who has five A-levels and a degree in neuroscience, was based in part on a letter from a paediatrician she has never met...
Under the plan, a doctor will hand the newborn to a social worker, provided there are no medical complications...
Miss Lyon, from Hexham, who is five months pregnant, is seeking a judicial review of the decision about Molly, as she calls her baby. She described it as "barbaric and draconian", and said it was "scandalous" that social services had not accepted submissions supporting her case.
"The paediatrician has never met me," she said. "He is not a psychiatrist and cannot possibly make assertions about my current or future mental health. Yet his letter was the only one considered in the case conference on August 16 which lasted just 10 minutes."
Northumberland County Council insists that two highly experienced doctors - another consultant paediatrician and a medical consultant - attended the case conference...
Miss Lyon came under scrutiny because she had a mental health problem when she was 16 after being physically and emotionally abused by her father and raped by a stranger.
She suffered eating disorders and self-harm but, after therapy, graduated from Edinburgh University and now works for two mental health charities, Borderline and Personality Plus.
Dr Stella Newrith, a consultant psychiatrist, who treated Miss Lyon for her childhood trauma for a year, wrote to Northumberland social services stating: "There has never been any clinical evidence to suggest that Fran would put herself or others at risk, and there is certainly no evidence to suggest that she would put a child at risk of emotional, physical or sexual harm."
Despite this support, endorsed by other psychiatrists and Miss Lyon's GP, social services based their recommendation partly on a letter from Dr Martin Ward Platt, a consultant paediatrician, who was unable to attend the meeting.
I really like this bit of the story, though:
The case adds to growing concern...over a huge rise in the number of babies under a year old being taken from parents. The figure was 2,000 last year, three times the number 10 years ago.
Critics say councils are taking more babies from parents to help them meet adoption "targets".
Ah. "Targets" for bureaucrats are involved. Now, it's beginning to become clear to me.
So, that's the state of English liberty, apparently. Of course, that could never happen here. Right?
TIPTON, Iowa - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care...
The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.
"The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.
You have no choice. You have to go. The article doesn't say what the penalites [sic] are for not going, but as they will be keeping track of whether you show up to appointments, the government can penalize you. By, let's imagine, cancelling [sic] your life insurance, or automobile insurance, or rescinding your driver's license, or any number of ways to make it uncomfortable for you to exercise your right to not see a damn doctor if you don't want to. You think they can't? If the government can require you to go to the doctor, they can penalize you. Count on it.
Come to think of it, the state of American liberty isn't looking all that great either.
Come to think of it, the state of American liberty isn’t looking all that great either.
While this may be true, it certainly isn’t because of any proposal from a Democratic candidate for their nomination (and not even the top one). To believe that Edwards’ statement will have any effect on American anything, we have to believe:
1. He will win the nomination. 2. He will win the Presidency. (Or he will be appointed to a position where he has a fairly strong say in American health care policy by whoever does win.) 3. His proposal for health care now will remain at least essentially the same until he is elected. 4. He will get Congress to sign off on it. (And he can get the President to sign off on it if it’s someone else.) 5. The American people won’t raise a large stink before step 4 can happen. (This is not at all certain, as past experience has shown, whether with a Democratic or Republican Congress.)
This is a lot of ifs, especially for a plan more draconian (at least as it sounds now) than one that failed just 13 years ago.
A lot of Presidential candidates in the past have promised things while campaigning that didn’t come to be, either because they didn’t get elected, they’re blowing smoke, or they can’t get done what they want to get done. Edwards’ health care plan will be more of the same.
England is beset by the same egalitarian mindset that attempts to assuage its absurd sense of guilt by selling out its own culture. Apparently some towns are now excluded from public sector jobs for being too white and too British.
I agree with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Lose His Job. What John Edwards says doesn’t matter because he is two-faced, unelectable, and insignificant. Lets go back to mocking Obama’s horrible take of foreign policy or the Clinton’s perennial lack of ethics. While they are still two-faced, they are potentially electable and significant.
Oh and the thought of government health care scares the bejeezus out of me. All you’re doing is handing the government an intrusive program they can use to get into every American’s intimate personal business. No thank you.
I was just now talking about airplanes with a friend of mine. Ultra-lights, as it happens. We were talking about the implications of engine-failure on takeoff and what’s known as "the suicide turn": a 180-degree turn to land downwind on the takeoff runway. Extremely risky business.
It wasn’t long before I got to thinking about this sort of thing in terms of something like Edwards’ scheme. Can anyone here see where this is going?
Let me put it this way: forget about experimental airplanes. Ski boats? Motorcycles, off-road vehicles... let’s see... nail-guns, ladders...
I agree with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Lose His Job. What John Edwards says doesn’t matter because he is two-faced, unelectable, and insignificant.
Yeah, see that’s not how I interpret the point of the post. This idea by Edwards is one of a long list of these type ideas, of which, this happens to be the most blatant so far. It is the existence of the list and that supposedly serious candidates for government freely push the ideas on it that says more about the state of the "English Heritage of Liberty" than just Edward’s idea alone.
To believe that Edwards’ statement will have any effect on American anything, we have to believe:
1. He will win the nomination. 2. He will win the Presidency... [snip of additional unlikely eventualities]
Of course Edwards will never personally oversee the implementation of his mandated, inescapable "birth to death" healthcare plan from the Oval Office. If his fortunes fade as they should, he might not even hear his name lauded when the leviathan is eventually loosed. But if you don’t think he’s had an effect, ask yourself what kind of compromise you’d be willing to make, one of these days, to have mandated checkups taken out of the plan.
How do people who think like this get entrusted with public policy in the first place?
When I was younger (and fitter) I dabbled in some criminous activities. Nothing violent, and I’d never take from those who couldn’t easily afford it. Later, after I made Eagle Scout, I decided not to perform midnight salary augmentations, but I would still come in contact with those who did. In my off and on career as a libationist and social alchemist I still do. Crooks are the most bloody-minded individualists you can ever imagine, yet several vote a straight D ticket.
Either they are playing the averages by noting that Ds favor 1. More gun laws = fewer chances to get shot at by folks returning early 2. Easier judges. 3. More lenient sentencing.
"First, John Edwards wants to make checkups, including mental checkups, mandatory."
Mandatory mental health checkups. Oh, goody. Why not, it worked so well in the USSR. It is amazing how a little mandatory government mental health therapy, particularly in a restful, secluded spa, can help maintain a peaceful, orderly, and well behaved populace.