We are about to enter into a dark period in health care which is best exemplified by the roaring debate over the issue about Medicare funding for Provenge. The bottom line of the debate comes down simply to, what is the value of one human life?
John Arnold, a struggling advanced prostate cancer survivor, exemplifies the value of one life. John has changed the landscape in Western Michigan food distribution for the poor. Michigan has struggled more than most states with severe economic problems and intolerable unemployment rates. John has managed to spearhead the distribution of millions of tons of food, that otherwise would have gone to the land fill, to poor and unemployed people. (See a brief Fox News story about John Arnold and his contributions at: https://malecare.org
John is facing a critical moment where he will probably have to give up this life saving work of over twenty years in order to concentrate on dealing with his advanced prostate cancer. How can this country question the value of one life? How can this country deny treatment to men like John Arnold because one life is not worth it?
Each man has value; the value can be measured in different ways. We all contribute to the greater good, either to general society like John, or to our smaller local communities or to our family. All these contributions are important and they all hold huge value.
Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.