A hemothorax similar in appearance to the one I suffered recently. Image courtesy of science
this week, and a subsequent complication quickly amplified that injury to the point that it was life threatening. The painful episode put the let-em-die flap at the Republican debate in a profoundly personal light for me. By the luck of the draw I happened to have very good insurance when the accident ocurred, but it got me to thinking
Here’s a question: How about those of us who have paid for health insurance? Should we be allowed to “just die”? I ask because in addition to the employer-sponsored insurance that probably saved my life this week, I have been paying premiums into another comprehensive plan that is statistically likely to save my life many times over in the years ahead.
The ultimate medical life-saver is science of course. Every year it saves countless lives, this week it happened to be me, next week may be your turn. That's why the virulent anti-science trend among conservatives is so alarming. When an entire political party proudly rejects science and wears that willfull ignorance like some kind of badge of honor, they're not just risking their own political future, they're gambling with the lives of millions.
- I think Orac nails one of the main reasons the GOP and associated Teaparty nutballs couldn't swallow Bachmann's latest anti-science koolaid the way they usually swig the stuff down:
That's what Michelle Bachmann did on Monday and Tuesday, drifted away from "conservative" ideological pseudoscience into what is perceived, again rightly or wrongly, as "liberal" pseudoscience, and that's why she's paying the price. Questioning evolution or AGW? Hey, that's skepticism! Anti-vaccine views? Hey, that's liberal crazy talk!
- Beyond vaccine conspiracies, why has the crusade against science escalated so dramatically on the right? Chris Mooney pins much of the blame on social conservatives:
It is trying to live in a world in which the laws of nature reflect a particularly conservative interpretation of what God says is morally right. It thinks the “facts” should support this—in fact, that they must support this.
- The anti-science infection coursing through the GOP is bad enough. Diarist Susan of 29 reviews the tragic, personal reality of the anti-humane trend that seems to go hand in hand with it:
I was holding his hand as he drew his last breath. Have you ever seen a man die, you bastards? His fingertips turn grey, his breathing becomes shallow. His grip weakens. And he simply stops breathing.