Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two recommendations and a small bit of thought

Last night I watched "Forgiving Dr. Mengele." Eva Mozes Kor, a survivor of Auschwitz (and Dr. Mengele's experiments) says she is a free human being because she has forgiven. Some survivors are incredulous, others angry, but she is adamant that it is the only way one can survive after such trauma; without forgiveness, one can never be free. She separates forgiving from forgetting. Of course, she says, how can one forget?

Ms. Kor doesn't articulate her reasoning that well, and I can't articulate for her why I sense she is absolutely right.

One person I know said that when he stopped hating homosexuals he felt as if a burden was lifted off his back.

I also watched Frontline's "Sick Around the World", which I think every conservative in America should be forced to watch. This film analyzes the health care systems of Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, and the U.K. At the end of each segment, the question is asked "Does anyone in your country go bankrupt because of health care bills?" The answer is always "no", along with incredulity that any modern nation could allow this to happen to any of its citizens.

The American health care non-system is a disgrace to our supposed sense of being a moral nation. I don't understand why the most "morally-minded" of our citizens are so firmly against any kind of national health care. Other countries are mystified by Americans' attitudes on this. I am, too.

There are so many lies out there. For one, we do not have the world's best health care. Fears of waiting forever if there's national health are unfounded and unsupported by wait times in other countries. And, as it stands now, it is generally unusual to be able to see a doctor in a timely fashion unless one is deathly ill.

The only area in which America's non-system stands above other countries is in elective surgery. Why don't we come out and call it what it is: cosmetic surgery. Should we really be proud of that?

I now see that there is actually something tying together these two seemingly disparate films. One involves an evil individual. The other, health care in America, may be about an evil health care system. One always hesitates to use the word "evil." We generally reserve it for such figures as Dr. Mengele, but what else can we call a system in which children go without basic health care, families are destroyed because of illness, the rich have all the access they want, and in this dominant superpower called America, the poor basically are thought to deserve what they get. Do mentally ill people deserve to be homeless? Do children deserve to die because their parents don't have money? If thinking that only by merit and money people deserve to have proper health care and a roof over their heads isn't a type of evil, I don't know what is.

Painting note: Edvard Munch "The Sick Child" 1907


BitterGrace said...

If "forgiveness" means not wasting a moment of your life hating, seeking vengeance against, or even thinking about someone who has hurt you, then I absolutely agree that forgiveness is the only way to go. The trouble is that some people can't distinguish between forgiveness and absolution.

I think it's not out of line to call our healthcare system evil, though lately I've been avoiding the E word generally. Usually, "insane" fills the bill without invoking any religious connection.

Julie H. Rose said...

The "E word" certainly evokes religion, and I've avoided it, too, and agree that "insane" indeed works instead (and is more accurate). However, I rather approve of using this loaded word when necessary - yes, our health care system is insane, but maybe some histrionics might wake some people up? Just thinking. . .