In a nutshell, here’s a perfect illustration of why our social engineering system will fail, and why every attempt to make life ‘fair’ will only punish those who do the right thing.

48 year old white female comes to the ER for chest pain, accompanied by well-meaning, smiling, university-based social-work interns from the local free clinic.  Her pain sounds legitimate.  She has no money and can’t afford her prescriptions. 

Indeed, she needs help.  Of course, she smokes one pack per day, drinks beer on the weekends, and uses crack cocaine. 

Whose help does she need?  Does she need the intern’s time?  Does she need the free clinic’s samples?  Does she need my free care? 

Or does she need to stop smoking, stop drinking, stop using crack and get on with life; including buying her own prescriptions. 

Sorry, if it sounds mean, it isn’t. We evaluated and admitted her.  But sometimes hard truths stick in our throats, and we refuse to speak them.


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