15 March 2005

Medical privacy, as seen on television

House, M.D. is a new television show on the Fox network dealing with a team of doctors who are assigned to care for patients whom other doctors are unable to treat. In tonight's episode, there was a patient who displayed symptoms of colon cancer. Her physician said that he would need to conduct a colonoscopy, but the patient initially refused. Now, don't worry. Everything worked out in the end, and the patient lived. But the episode raised some serious questions. If the Florida Legislature had its way, would a patient ever be able to refuse treatment? When will private individuals be able to make their own decisions and when will those decisions be made by the government?

The most recent bill filed in the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature regarding the Terri Schiavo case begins what may be a very dangerous trend - the government gaining more control over our personal lives, essentially eroding our individual liberty. Remember the Republican Party that talked about "less government" and "more personal freedom"? Well, that Party is gone. The new Republican Party of Florida believes that people need to be protected from themselves and that the government is the one to do the protecting.

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