Healthcare and Death

The worlds irrational fear of death has made healthcare unpractical.  No healthcare system in the world is viable.  They all lose money at incredible rates.  From Europe’s universal systems to America’s insurance system.  It doesn’t matter if an emergency room visit is free as in the UK or if an aspirin in an ER costs $60 as in the USA.

The major problem relates to our current culture.  Namely that every life is precious and death should be avoided at all costs.  Both of which are wrong.  We all have a price and death is no where near as important as quality of life.  Death is our curtain call.  Every show must end. Hopefully we have entertained and been entertained and leave with dignity as the curtain falls.  Nobody enjoys a show that ends badly or drags on.

Our healthcare systems should focus on two points.  Taking care of the young so they can contribute by working, and preparing the old for death.  But let us progress from birth to death.

At birth we are all equals.  There are no Hitlers or Einsteins.  So there should be a very straightforward process.  If you are born premature where you need an incubator nature should be allowed to take you.  Spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars and living in a little oven for months is ridiculous.  I’m sorry that some mistake was made but your parents can try again.  The same if you have a crippling disease.  It is selfish of parents to tell a doctor to do everything to keep you alive, especially when it is known that you won’t live long and those days will be in extreme pain.  No, if you cannot survive on your own at birth you should be allowed to die.

Next come children and adults.  Some will have issues such as asthma, allergies, and others.  No problem.  We have cheap medications where they can live normal lives at a reasonable cost to society.  Bones will be broken and trauma had.  This is normal and easy to fix.  No issues with a healthcare system covering these issues.  Other rare diseases would be on a case by case basis depending on cost and outcomes.  Call them death panels if you will, but we all have a worth.  Very few people would be worth millions of dollars for treatment.  A cancer removed by surgery is cheap and effective.  If that cancer becomes systemic and costs millions of dollars in chemotherapy treatments then it does not become worth it.  You may throw out all the miracle stories you wish but it is the odds that matter in this, not the individual.

Old people need palliative care.  An 80 year old getting a $100,000 hip surgery is not practical.  The use they will get out of it is not worth the cost.  Instead of extending life we should respect when it ends.  On a personal note I refused to see my grandfather once he developed dementia.  I did not want him to treat me as a stranger.  I wanted to remember him as the excellent grandfather he was, not some crazy old man who didn’t recognize me.  I was ticked with the half my relatives that made him get a pacemaker, which just extended his unhappiness.  He wished for death in his lucid moments and I hate my relatives for doing that to him.  On the flip side my aunt is 106 and still kicking.  Amazingly she lives at home alone and has never had a serious surgery.  It is the quality of the persons life that matters, not the length of it.

Old people, seniors if you wish, take up a huge percentage of healthcare funding.  If we would change our beliefs and honor and accept death we could make a healthcare system that works for all.  On our present course in just a few decades the solution will be much more intense and severe.  It will be much scarier than death ever is.

The Hungarian People

Hungarians are the strangest people I have come across in my life, which is made all the more weird since they are in the middle of Europe and surrounded by cultures I like.

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Let me begin with their physical appearance.  A german looks German, a Swede looks like a Swede, a Brit looks like a Brit, a Slav looks like a Slav, an Arab looks like an Arab, the Japanese look Japanese, and an Indian looks Indian.  Every country on this planet has a look. Even Americans look American.  It is easy to tell an American black from an Ethiopian.  Hungary is the only country I know of that doesn’t follow this rule.  They have no identity at all.  They look very plain.  I cannot even say that they have mixes of German, Turkish, or Russian, because they don’t look like it.  Go to Hungary and try it.  Sit in a cafe and guess peoples nationalities.  It will be easy with the tourists, but Hungarians you will mistake every single time until you hear them speak.

Then their is their attitude.  I have two complaints about it.  They are the most negative people on the planet and also have an unhealthy, almost religious, obsession with food.  Lets begin with their negativity.  Most of them act like dogs that have been beaten.  They never smile when walking and forget about anyone saying hello or good day.  I was told by some Hungarians that if you do smile to strangers they will think that you have a mental problem.  This all goes out the window once you have befriended them.  Then they become extremely nice and hospitable, showering you with food and drinks and making you feel like an honored guest in their house.  I feel it my duty here to tell you the golden rule of Hungary.  ‘Never refuse a palinka when offered’.  Palinka is the Hungarian drink and forms a bond between you and the host immediately upon sharing one.  Refuse and you will make a lifelong enemy.  So do not visit Hungary if you do not drink.  If you do visit prepare your liver for destruction.  Real palinka made by grandfathers, and not the store bought stuff, is extremely strong.  Drinking it has resulted in my only blacked out night.  So prepare yourself.

Beyond this they always think the worst of every situation.  To illustrate this point I will tell the story of a girl I knew.  She was applying to get a job and had an interview.   I wished her luck, helped her practice the interview questions, and told her she would do great.  He parents, yes her own parents, told her that she probably wouldn’t get the job and not to get her hopes up.  That about sums up their attitude to life.  I guess it is from being such a poor country under the Soviet Unions boot. Being poor might also explain their facination with food.  Where the British greet each other by asking about the weather, Hungarians greet each other by asking how their last meal was or what they are going to eat.  90% of any conversation concerns food.

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Hungarians also seem to have extremely poor decision making skills.  As a country they have been on the wrong side of every war.  Even now they are the most zenophobic country in Europe and the Prime Minister is a complete and utter moron.  But I do give them some credit for the obviously evil Jobbik party not winning, though they did come close.  They seem to refuse to learn English, which is weird and stupid when compared to Poland.  Most poles learn English and take advantage of the EU and go work in the UK.  But as you can guess Hungarians don’t learn English and don’t take advantage of the EU.  Instead they get extremely low paying jobs at home and then complain about it.

So Hungarians are the weirdest people I have ever met.  If food is your enjoyment in this life or you ever feel a need to be surrounded by negativity then I recommend you move to a Hungarian village.  The cost of living is almost nil, so go ahead and do it today.