Parents should choose their child’s health care

To the Editor:

I read with interest the editor’s note regarding the letter my nephew, Richard Fisher, wrote [“Single-payer health insurance hurts patients,” The Altamont Enterprise, Jan. 25, 2018]. Richard is not registered in any political party and neither am I. We vote for the person, not the party.

I have a question about the Commonwealth Fund mentioned in your note: Is this the commonwealth of nations which is, in some way, affiliated with the British (were all part of the British Empire at one time — the countries of the Commonwealth) — is this the British/United Kingdom?

How does the World Health Organization or the United Nations rank the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States?

Also, the 11-month-old British baby, yes, was born with a rare and fatal genetic disease; however the parents were desperate to see if they could save their precious baby by bringing him to the United States of America but the case was a lost cause due to medical insurance rules. The child never stood a chance.

This made world news. Oh, the parents gave up. What chance would they have?

“You can’t fight city hall,” as they say. Everyone was upset but the medical insurance rules came above government intervention.

If I’m not wrong, the medical insurance rules will be changed so this doesn’t occur again. The parents should be the ones to choose, not the medical insurance.

Donna Fisher

Howes Cave

Editor’s note: Founded a century ago in the United States, the Commonwealth Fund, according to its mission statement, “is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.”

For overall efficiency, the World Health Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, ranks the United Kingdom 18th, Canada 30th, and the United States 37th out of 191 countries worldwide.

Children have rights independent of their parents under British law so courts intervene when doctors and parents disagree. In the case of Charlie Gard, born with a rare, fatal genetic disease, Great Ormond Street Hospital in London where he was being treated said he was suffering and, since there was no cure for his disease, sought permission last March to turn off life support so he could die peacefully. His parents had argued to keep him alive to try experimental treatment but, after test results showed progress was unlikely, dropped their legal effort in July. The case was not about medical insurance rules or money for health care.

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