Death and Life Choices
by Milo Clark

Jan Baughman writes about "Life and Death Choices" in which she frames key aspects of the dilemmas. Suicide. Religious perspectives. Doctor roles. Moral and legal issues. All of what are actualities of dying within the approved "health" care delivery systems of the United States of America, a land within which we are not free to choose our death.

How do I think about these choices? I am choosing life as opposed to death by being alive. I am also making many other related choices. I am not choosing "health" insurance, for example. The affluent American way of dying is barbaric. I am more terrified, if that is an appropriate word, of the allopathic medical system than dying itself. But, then again, I haven't faced death yet. Some events have seemed like a possibility at the time they happened, though.

Over twenty five years ago, I realized that "health" insurance was, for me, an investment in getting unhealthy. How could I possibly justify such a major investment unless there was possibility of future benefit? And what benefits could I project? Subjecting myself to a system in which I had very little confidence. The one thing which I was sure about was that the allopathic medical system was dedicated to self-enrichment.

I really need to modify that harsh opinion to a degree. Allopaths, the medical practitioners who dominate American health delivery systems by political processes, are only one of many health disciplines available. That is, would be available if the American Medical Association had not bought adequate numbers of politicians some years back who then dutifully passed legislation establishing that medicine meant allopathy exclusively. The battles involved have served to deliver millions of humankind to zero choice health delivery systems. Now, foolish Americans by the droves are spending billions on alternatives to allopathy. Some recover. Some die. At least, some are doing that based on their own choices. I like the idea of choosing how I want to live and, when the time comes, how I want to die.

In other days, health practitioners would jump around, wave feathers or count stones or whatever and patients would recover or die. Today, health practitioners still jump around in multi-billion dollar huts with multi-billion dollar trinkets and multi-billion dollar budgets while patients still recover or die. Statistics on living and dying haven't changed all that much as a result. Maybe the timing a bit.

Overall, Not much has changed except the bill due on recovery. Should I impoverish myself by paying insurance premiums in vain hopes that the costs will be covered by insurance (when I know full well that only some ever-lessening percentage will be)? Should anything happen to me which delivers me to the allopathic witch doctors, I know that if I recover, I'm financially ruined. If I value life more than anything else, which I don't, is life among the destitute is to be cherished? Not for me.

Then my choice is simple. I do what is necessary to keep this body healthy and trust myself. I use what money I have to make my living as comfortable and as satisfying as I can. So far, it is working for me.

I know, as much as I may be able to know anything, that had I persisted in playing the great American success story, I would be dead now. My body didn't like doing any of that one minute. I was on my way to ulcers, gastro-intestinal this and that plus six other highly probable unpleasant fates from which allopaths would profit but not me.

Time will tell whether I am foolish in these judgments. My main problem at the moment is whether to choose Medicare B or not. Costs $40 dollars or so a month, $480 a year--one decent meal out every week (at least at my favorite restaurants). Even though it may look cheap compared to unfree market alternatives, it is still an investment in disease. The literature sent along with the signup form suggests strongly that it is UnAmerican not to buy in.

I'm not choosing disease. Anyway, by the time the politicians get around to chopping down Medicare, what will be left to fund health care for curmudgeons?

When my time comes, I'll try the Tibetan ritual for release of the spirit on death, thank you.

Published January 26, 1997
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