[ExI] U.S. Medical Care

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Apr 2 09:04:41 UTC 2009

On 4/2/09, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Yes, I would agree with that. One possible problem with free access to
>  drugs would be the acceleration of bacterial resistance to
>  antibiotics, which why we have the MRSA problem Lee mentioned. Here a
>  case could be made for restriction in the interests of the public good.

Agreed. The widespread use of antibiotics means that they become
useless. This is already a problem in hospitals. And it appears that
new antibiotics are difficult to develop and expensive.

The two generic problems with free access to drugs are the same as
with free access to anything that might be dangerous in the wrong
hands.  Guns, explosives, poisons, drugs, acids, nuclear technology,
nanotechnology, etc.

Do you want the bad people to be able to just walk into Walmart and buy them?
Do you want the 50% below average intelligence to buy them?
Do you want the insane or temporarily depressed people to buy them?
Do you want your estranged wife or furious alienated teenagers to buy them?
Do you want children to have access to them? (Even if children are
banned from buying them, if they are freely available to everyone,
then children will get them).

So you swap one group of social problems for another group. Which
group will end up being overall worse for society? Restrictions causes
a known set of problems and protects against another known set of

Freedom (or chaos) is a wild venture into the unknown. Best to try it
in a small society first. Netherlands experimenting with drugs freedom
is a good solution. Let's watch and see what happens.


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