Sunday, September 13, 2009

* Dartmouth: Dead or Alive, Dr. Kim?

Dartmouth: Dead or Alive, Dr. Kim ?

Letter to the Editor
Valley News

Dear Editor:

Last year the physicians at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center saved my life, especially one highly alert young specialist who ordered three expensive tests which President Obama's health care cost-cutting imperatives would have denied me.

Jim Yong Kim, M.D., the new president of Dartmouth College (which includes the medical school), is a world renowned health care expert who indicated on Bill Moyer's Journal today, 9/13/ 09, that he supports those very same cost cutting imperatives which would have killed me.

I have one question for Dr. Kim, after welcoming him to the Upper Valley. It is an age-old ethical question which I encountered in my degree studies at Yale Divinity School: Is the possibility of saving 10,000 human lives worth sacrificing ONE human life?

In other words, should my little old middle class Vermont life be sacrificed because the health care delivery "efficiency" Dr. Kim advocated on Bill Moyers' Journal might possibly help save 10,000 lives, lives which don't require such expensive tests as did I?

With all due respect to Dr. Kim, this decision belongs to the realm of the Divine, not to the realm of human, slick, efficient, cost-cutting, number crunching, health care bureaucratic experts.

Paul D. Keane
M.A., M.Div., M.Ed.