Remember back to when your children were young and you would sit at a table with them and help put together a puzzle. Depending upon the puzzle’s size and complexity, it could take hours of hard work; however, the time was well spent because you could bond on a common task with your children.

When you finally come to the end of the puzzle, you shockingly find that one small piece is missing. Your kids proceeded to have fits and tantrums. However, the puzzle was fine; you did not need that final part to see the entire picture on the puzzle. You could easily see that it was a scene of the jungle or the sea, even with the missing piece. Yet, your kids continued to tantrum and then refuse again to work on the broken puzzle in the future. To them, it just was not complete and could never be complete.

Every piece of the puzzle mattered just as every one of us matters. We are all important and we are all required to complete the puzzle. With one piece missing, or one of us missing the picture is broken, not complete.

This situation is no different from what would happen if we start rationing health care. The process has already begun in the United States. The British system of health care is often held up as a good model, but treatments are rationed based on a strict cost analysis. The recent decision from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to halt psa testing in older men is the first misstep down this slippery slope.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW