Friday, February 5, 2010

Rex Murphy on Danny William's Heart Surgery in the US

There are some facts after all that it might have helped Murphy make a less clueless commentary.

1) Williams chose to have his surgery in the US rather than Canada.
2) There is no evidence that he could not have had the surgery in Canada outside of Newfoundland and Labrador.
3) The issue is political after all as Murphy himself shows in his article. It has been commented on by US talk shows such as Ó'"Reilly. Williams is premier of NL and as such where he gets his health care is an issue..
4) His choice reflects badly on the Canadian Health Care System.
5) In effect he probably did jump a queue. He might have had to wait in Canada if he had chosen to have the operation here. Hence, he may very well have gone to the US to avoid the wait.
6) I assume Williams is paying himself for the operation although this is not entirely clear. So only those with funds are able to avoid queues and able to go to the US. Ordinary Canadians would not have this privilege or freedom as it is called!

These are some of the facts that Murphy might have considered. As for our having no right to the facts I do not understand why not. I want to know if Canada is paying for this surgery. I want to know why he could not get the operation done in Canada. I want to know why Williams chose to go to the US and reflect discredit on our health system. Finally I want t0 know why CBC continues to air the fatuous rhetorical flatulence of Murphy.

Rex Murphy: The private life of Danny Williams
Rex Murphy
The following is a transcript of Rex Murphy's Point of View commentary from the Feb. 4 broadcast of The National on CBC Television.

Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland, had or is having major heart surgery in the United States.

I'm sure everyone wishes him and his family the very best with the operation.

His going to the U.S. has stirred a great volume of controversy and comment -- almost as much, by informal measurement, as the prorogation of Parliament. Both here and in the U.S. Heavens, it's even been brought up in that Shangri-La of Socratic disinterest, FOX News' Bill O'Reilly show.
Not surprising, many might say. Danny Williams is a lightening rod of his own construction. He's aggressive, combative, partisan -- and back home, largely without any real opposition. My own personal take on him, for what its worth, is that I admire the ferocity of his feelings for Newfoundland while I sometimes deplore the bullying and bluster it occasionally leads to.

But I see it as more than awkward that his surgery, and his choice -- perhaps on the advice of his Newfoundland doctors -- of where to have it, has become the great political football that it has. I've never been a fan of that wretched slogan "the personal is political" for the very obvious reason it demolishes the barrier that should -- must -- exist between our genuine private lives and the wide-open, reckless and supercharged arena of politics.

It's his heart, it's his surgery, and it's his choice. Danny Williams, Premier or no Premier, and his family are the only ones at this point who have any real say about where he chooses to have life-threatening surgery. Further, as most commentary admits, the actual facts upon which he made his choice, and the counsel he has received from his Newfoundland doctors is not known to us -- nor, by the way, should it. So the river of commentary, both here and in the states, is taking place in a vacuum of fact.

A larger reason for refusing to politicize the moment however is a simple one: It parallels Trudeau's dictum that the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. Likewise, politics should stop at the edge of the operating table. It's his life and it's his business.

He hasn't, using his standing as Premier, jumped some queue, lined up an MRI by cutting off someone less connected, hasn't displaced some other Newfoundlander waiting for surgery. Something like that would make a genuine case for debate of condemnation.

So -- the decent civil course would be to wait till the operation's done, wish him the best, wait for his recuperation -and if then, he wants to unfold his personal circumstances, and offer some thoughts on the "politics" of his choice, we can all hear him out.

But for now, leave him be. Politics, as I've said, should stop when the man in the white coat is reaching for the scalpel.

For The National, I'm Rex Murphy.

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1 comment:

wrpn said...

I would say that Murphy is right. Premier Williams' choice of venue for surgery is his own personal decision. We should wish him well.