Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Utilitarianism's "War Medicine" and its "Collectivist Fallacy"

Just a beginning note on a big big subject:

WWII's proponents of 'War Medicine', citing their utilitarian philosophy of 'the greatest good for the greatest number' forced some humans to undergo horrific and even fatal medical experiments and also refused to give some other humans the medicine needed to keep them alive.

Their moral claim for doing all this horrific stuff was that these relatively few people would only endure short term (fatal) pain while the vast body of humanity would benefit from this painfully necessary research , now and into the future.

Unstated in all this was their rhetorical claim that their overall medical vision was a collectivist one, where some would willingly give their lives for the medical good, like fit young soldiers, so that their grandfathers, mothers and little baby brothers would go on living.

But in fact the people behind War Medicine oppose peacetime's collectivist Social Medicine with all their individualist, libertarian, heart and breath.

Social Medicine's vision  was truly collectivist - it said wealthy people should be taxed so that no human, no matter how poor, would be denied lifesaving medical care.

But War Medicine proponents - to a man - felt that individually one should only get the medicine one could pay for - case of every individual for themselves.

But against this was their 'collectivist' vision for War Medicine that included injecting metallic plutonium into sick people - without telling them why - so we could learn the effects of internal radiation and heavy metal poisoning from metallic plutonium and how to reduce its dire effects.

But - a tremendously BIG but - these sick civilians did not and would not ever benefit from suffering this horrific treatment.

They would never even come into contact with metallic plutonium in their daily lives - not even during an atomic attack.

The only people who would benefit from this horrific research were the fit young doctors and scientists who ordered up these horrible experiments.

They were all fit and young enough to be real gun-toting soldiers , but who were living safe at home during a war andfearful lest they ingested any of the plutonium they were experimenting with as part of the Manhattan Project.

In this revised scenario we see grandfather and baby brother dying horrible deaths ---- all to keep young healthy soldier boy away from harm.

That has to be the sick sick sickest version of how war sacrifice normally plays out - in the long history of the abusive use of American medicine , this shameful episode has to be the moral low point ....

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