You can carry a letter that tells health care providers to not resuscitate if you stop breathing. It is a reasoned decison to not accept medical care that would extend your life. I see many cases where this makes sense. So why not extend this idea to those railing against universal health care? If you don't want medical care, carry a card refusing it. If you just don't want to pay for the insurance, then carry a card showing how much money you have in escrow to cover your bills. When the money runs out, so does the care. There is no free lunch.

But even this is not so simple. What do we do with people that refuse medical care but have contagious diseases? Right now the public health laws are rather clear: We lock them up and force treatment on them. How else could you stop a tuberculosis epidemic?

How do we balance the rights of an individual against the rights of all individuals? If your child picks up tuberculosis from someone at the mall, the answer is actually rather simple: To protect all of us, we all need quality health care.

R. G. Sparber

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