One of the things I am almost constantly having to deal with as one who maintains a steady watch on the news is heartbreak.
Whether the story is about abortion, mass murder, war, poverty, scandal, corruption, crime, or political disagreement, one thing is sure – there is much heartbreak in our world today.
Sadly, my heart was broken again this morning as I watched a clip from a 2016 Dutch television show called “The Last Downer.”
A post on Chinese social media site Weibo explains what the show is all about, “In the Netherlands, a TV show revolving around ‘the end of Down syndrome’ was recently aired on national television. The series, that was titled ‘The Last Downer’, explored what society loses if Down syndrome disappears. It also talked about the ethical, social and psychological consequences of having a child with Down syndrome.”
The show follows a Dutch man with Down Syndrome and in this scene he meets with a government official to learn just how much he costs society. The official, using a blackboard, then calculates just how “expensive” the Down Syndrome man is to society, before then explaining how much less a “normal” person costs to care for.
It's a TV show produced by an evangelical christian broadcasting corporation. Very much pro-life. They wanted a debate about society's attitude to Down's Syndrome patients, and had asked the institute to calculate these costs – presumably to show they weren't excessive.
— Joshua Livestro (@JoshuaLivestro) December 14, 2017
Here’s the clip that proves our culture is collapsing in on us.
If you couldn’t stomach the video here’s a brief synopsis of the scene above, from Aleteia.org:
At the request of a television show called The Last Downer, we watch as Sjoerd, a man with Down syndrome, is told precisely what he and his similarly-chromosomed friends are costing Europe, in hard dollars and cents: $48,000 Euros, per “Downer” per year.
Sjoerd’s companion says, “That is a considerable amount, but it is high when compared to “normal” persons?
Oh, yes. “Normal” folk only cost $5,000 Euros a year, each.
“So you could say that Sjoerd is almost 10 times as expensive than we are. …Is there another group in the Netherlands that approaches that amount?”
Oh, yes. If you look at elderly people with dementia, living in facilities, “you will come to see these numbers.”
It’s all very “civilized” and yet about as cold-blooded a thing as I’ve ever seen.
Why does any of this matter? Why should we care how much more it costs to to live as a person with Downs Syndrome as opposed to a person without the disorder?
There’s only one reason. Socialism.
As Western Europe has embraced socialist-styled healthcare they’ve run up against the problem of rationing and expense. There are simply too many people and too few dollars to care for everyone all of the time. It’s why in Canada it can take months for a woman to get a screening to rule out breast cancer, and in the UK it can take weeks before a patient with debilitating pain to be seen by a dentist. There just aren’t enough doctors or dollars to care for everyone’s problems right away.
A few years ago, Sarah Palin cut right to the heart of the matter when she railed against the possibility of Obamacare and she targeted the most disgusting flaw in the socialist healthcare scheme. So-called “Death Panels.” Liberals mocked her, the media dismissed her, and yet… this is exactly the problem we see throughout the Western world today. We just watched the problem play out with baby Charlie Gard who was ordered to die because the prospect of healing him was too remote, and far too expensive an undertaking.
Charlie Gard shocked the world, but the reality is that the exact same scenario plays out every day in socialist nations when hospitals tell the elderly, the infirm, and the terminal that they will no longer receive treatment to extend their lives but instead be given end of life care.
Why? Because it’s cheaper and it saves money for the younger, more virile and likely to survive patients who are walking in to care behind them.
These are the death panels that Sarah Palin was worrying about and that the media pretended didn’t exist.
Over at Louder with Crowder, Kacie Burnett lays out the real issue with socialist healthcare:
For people who claim money and capitalism are evil, they sure do like putting a price tag on someone’s life. That tends to happen in socialized medicine…
This is the twisted world of healthcare leftists, like Bernie Sanders and his socialist cronies, envision for America. One where those with disabilities have to justify their existence. Because there’s only so much (insert thing here) to go around. But hey, it’s not the left’s fault, they’re the ones who wanted to abort these “problem” babies waaay before they could rack up a medical bill in the first place. So compassionate of them!
Socialism is as primal as it gets. When everything is “free” but there’s a limited supply, everyone races to gobble up the resources. Thus people with Down syndrome are seen as an obstacle to be eliminated by society. Too costly, that lot.
Princeton legal scholar Robert P. George was horrified by the video and tried to remind the Dutch of their own painful past.
My God! People! People!!! Do you not see where this goes??? Do the Dutch, who suffered under–and in many cases heroically resisted–Hitler's domination, forget that the "final solution" began with the dehumanization and eugenic killing of the handicapped? https://t.co/2blq0OXGzL
— Robert P. George (@McCormickProf) December 14, 2017
It is horrific, but it’s the only possible outcome for a socialist society. There is only so much money to go around. This means that some sacrifices have to be made and the people making the sacrifice will be the ones who “cost the most” for society to maintain. The weak, the infirm, the poor, the unwanted, all innocent of any crime but all deemed too costly by socialism’s brutal standards.
CBS ran a story a few months ago about the astronomical abortion rate in Iceland by mothers whose children are diagnosed with Down’s in the womb. It approaches 100 percent there, 98 percent in Denmark, 77 percent in France, and 67 percent in the United States.
There’s no reason to expect it won’t climb everywhere as pre-natal screening grows in ubiquity.
The only thing restraining the trend in the first-world right now, I suspect, is the fact that some women continue to be strong religious believers committed to a pro-life ethic. As belief in the west fades, that ethic will fade too, probably not to the extent that “undesirables” are being rounded up and sent off to destinations unknown but surely enough to make aborting babies with Down’s a tragic fact of everyday life.
We stand on the precipice of a terrible and cruel future.
Is there any hope?
Last month, we brought you the story of Frank Stephens. Stephens has Down Syndrome and works as an activist promoting his community and fighting to end the stigma that he and others like him do not contribute to society. Stephens delivered a powerful speech before government officials where he laid out a strong case that people with Down Syndrome deserve to live, and that their lives are “worth living,” even if the left can’t see it.
Folks, it is up to us to fight for these precious people.
They deserve our help, they deserve life, they deserve to not be treated as a dollar amount but to be treated like a human being whose life has value and worth.
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