Bogus article in _Science_ writes off young, old

Camilla Cracchiolo camilla at
Sat Nov 23 05:35:01 EST 1996

Russell Turpin <turpin at> wrote:

: What public health policy depends on this kind of global measure?

Infectious disease precautions, for one thing.  

: Very clearly, India (to pick an example at random) should focus
: its medical resources according to the kinds of health problems
: that are prevalent in India, which will not be the same as the
: health problems that are prevalent in the US or Britain.  There
: is absolutely no need to do some kind of cross-country comparison
: to realize *this*.

: Despite the popular rhetoric that health care is a human right
: that must be publicly provided, almost no one in the first world
: acts as if global medical resources should be pooled and then
: applied according to global criteria.  If we were to do this,
: virtually all health care that we in the first world care most
: about would disappear.  It takes no great insight to realize that
: heart disease and cancer are concerns only AFTER dealing with a
: whole host of problems that still top the list for most nations.
: As Cracchiolo explained, many "folks in the third world don't
: live long enough to die of heart disease."  Since we are NOT
: going to globally allocate health resources, an objective
: criterion is not needed to determine how to do so.

Don't tell that to the World Health Organization or the International
Planned Parenthood Federation.  We DO globally allocate certain health
resources.   Furthermore, every single public health researcher I've everf
talked to can go on at length about the need for more, not less, global
cooperation, particularly where infectious diseases are concerned.
Also, the fact that we are not currently allocating enough resources to
truly deal with health conditions in the third world is no indication if a
lack of need to do so, nor an argument that research is unneeded.

The first world is not the whole world.  People in South America are dying
of cholera that originated in India.  There is also the serious problem of
how to deal with AIDS, which unlike classic infectious diseases that carry
off the very young and there very old, are killing people in their most
productive years.  An infant dying is a terrible tragedy: a 25 year old
man or woman dying often means that all the children and elderly
dependants of tha person also die.  

: on first world health problems, other countries will focus their
: health resources on their own health problems, and the first world
: will provide some funds to help with the latter.  Where in this
: is the need for the kind of global criterion that this article
: describes?  Quite frankly, I do not see it.

: Russell

: -- 
:  The difference between life and a movie script is that the script has 
:  to make sense.         -- Humphrey Bogart

   "The trick is to keep an open mind, without it being so open
                      that your brain falls out."

                        Camilla Cracchiolo, RN   

    camilla at  

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