Monday, January 07, 2008
The Sublime To The Ridiculous!
In Victoria, a plan is being put forward by the Australian Medical Association to provide free surgery to band and therefore constrict the stomachs of chronically obese teenagers (it's called bariatric surgery). Trials are already underway to assess the efficacy of such operations which needless to say don't come cheaply.
Of course, everyday, right across the world, children are dying in the thousands because of lack of food. Meanwhile, in Australia and America, children are becoming dangerously obese mainly because of over-eating and lack of exercise. How ironic! And the obesity problem does not just apply to children either.
Given that the cost of health services in Australia (as elsewhere) continues to rise astronomically and taxpayer's dollars for such care is limited, is it reasonable to spend huge amounts of money fixing up preventable health problems such as those caused by over-eating, cigarette smoking, alcoholism, etc? If people knowingly choose to damage themselves, why should others pay?
Would that money be better spent by giving aid and assistance to poorer countries where people have no medical care or food and are dying unnecessarily as a result?
It is a moral dilemma. Which way should our affluent society go?