The spread of the CCP virus has forced the world to a grinding halt.
Encouraging families to “quarantine” at home and practice “social distancing” in public is now the norm, even after just three weeks, with at least three more weeks to go.
But the CCP virus has also forced other things to stop: abortions; surgeries; jobs. Some of these make sense. Others don’t. The CCP virus and the world’s response has raised the question about the value of life and is forcing us to answer it: What is a life worth?
As soon as it became clear the CCP virus was an unprecedented enemy that was no respecter of class, race, economic status, religion, or any other metric, health-care experts, government officials—and really, everyone else with a pulse—began paying attention and devising ways to mitigate infections and loss of life.
“Shelter in place” policies are implemented nearly across the board in every state, and most states have closed all non-essential stores, organizations, businesses, conferences, and more.
While this might seem small when compared to overflowing New York City hospitals or the rising death toll there, for rural communities, their own hospitals are their own lifesavers—and they still need medical care now and in the future, too.
Her doctor told The Atlantic the hospital is “prioritizing surgeries in which ‘the length of your life is affected.’ The ‘quality of life’ surgeries are the ones now getting postponed.”
While I can understand the necessity to slow the spread of the CCP virus, if a hospital delays life-changing (not necessarily life-saving) procedures to the point where their own revenue stops and they are forced to close, that could also cost lives in the long run, or at the very least, impede quality of life.
Then there’s an issue on the other side of the medical spectrum: abortion. Several state officials shut down non-essential medical activities, especially ones that would utilize coveted personal protection equipment (PPE) that medical personnel need to combat the CCP virus. This included abortion clinics, temporarily, of course. Multiple states have tried to halt abortions temporarily, including Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Louisiana.
Judges in four states have banned the attempt to shutter abortion clinics temporarily, although a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said Texas’s ban on abortions could stay while the lawsuit proceeds.
All three of these issues, the CCP virus, halting surgeries effecting a hospital’s bottom line, and shuttering abortion clinics temporarily, are in many ways diametrically opposed, yet they raise the question: What is a life worth?
At the same time, if we’re halting surgeries and a hospital loses so much revenue it must close and leave its residents without an ER, is that not a contradiction to the highest good as well?
The CCP virus has raised medical, logistical, financial, and political questions. It’s no surprise it has raised philosophical questions, too. I hope that we as a society can continue to wrangle with these so that we know better how to handle these pressing life issues, should something like this strike us again, in the future.