One of the dangers of nationalized health care (outside of the cost concerns) the potential explosion for litigation once health care becomes a right.  Such litigation helped to increase health care costs from the 1980s onward and could make things more expensive in future, only this time its the taxpayers that will bear the brunt.

Not only could such litigation require hospitals and clinics to preform various surgeries, cosmetic or otherwise, regardless of their impact on the bottom line, but it can also force patients to receive certain treatments whether they want to or not. Judges and or juries become de facto doctors.

Examples of this are a couple of cases in the Upper Midwest, one in Minnesota and the other in Wisconsin, where a parents religious beliefs precluded them from getting medical treatments for their seriously ill children. The Wisconsin case is a little different for the parents are being charged with murder whereas in Minnesota, the still alive 13-year old is standing by his parents and refusing medical treatment.

Those who were repulsed by the state interference in the Schiavo case should also be concerned about the precedent that could be set in these two cases. If a court can force anyone into any kind medical treatment regardless of their own personal choice and hold you liable for murder if you don’t comply for religious reasons, or were unaware of how serious the problem was because seeing doctors is a mortal sin in your religion, as in the Wisconsin case, then the state can also make you get vaccinated for the next outbreak of Swine Flu. The state could theoretically force AIDS patients on to prescribed AZT schedules.  The state could enforce a person to endure expensive surgeries for the public good.  And if the court makes the boy in Minnesota have chemotherapy against his will, I doubt if Brown County, Minn. will be footing his medical bills.

Such cases have been in the legal system for some time but may become more common as the diverse country now has many residents who are more used to homemade remedies than IV units. Courts could very well dive into family disputes between those favoring more modern care against traditional methods or those who believe faith is the primary healer.

The state has already become our banker on top of being our policeman, our home builder and our farmer. Do we wish to add doctor to that growing list?