The story of Oliver Cameron, born with a deadly heart condition and saved by surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), is an inspiring testament to the refusal of two parents to accept anything less than state-of-the-art medical treatment for their baby. Yet, if you want to know the details of his amazing recovery, you won’t find them in any major U.S. news outlet. Why not? Oliver’s story highlights the abject failure of socialized medicine and the spectacular success of the best health care system on the planet. In other words, it belies an ongoing propaganda campaign conducted by the media.
Oliver’s story, which was even ignored by the Boston Globe, must be gleaned from sporadic reports in the British press, a few American news sites like the Daily Wire, social media, and the BCH website: Oliver was born in the UK, on the last day of January 2017, with a condition called cardiac fibroma — a large benign tumor of the heart. The term “benign” is misleading, however, indicating only that the tumor was non-cancerous. It was by no means benign in its effect on Oliver’s health. The condition rendered his heartbeat dangerously erratic, often causing his pulse to race at near lethal speeds.
It soon became evident that, for Oliver to have any chance of reaching his first birthday, the tumor had to be removed. At this point Oliver’s parents were horrified to learn that the UK’s socialized medical system, the National Health Service (NHS), doesn’t employ a single surgeon with the expertise to perform that procedure. All they offered Oliver was a place on a purgatorial heart transplant list, but Tim and Lydia Cameron didn’t accept that. They began researching their son’s condition hoping to find some ray of hope. They found it at Boston Children’s Hospital.Ah, but remember poor little Alfie Evans? He also had promises of healthcare far from the shores of Her Majesty's scepter'd isle, but the bureaucrats at the National Health Service refused to let him leave, even posting police to prevent his getting foreign care. So what hope did little Oliver have?
It turns out, the NHS bureaucrats flinched from the bad press they had been receiving:
Caution was indeed a wise policy. The NHS predictably refused the couple’s plea for Oliver to be sent to Boston where competent surgeons could perform the life-saving surgery. Lydia and Tim then asked if the NHS would agree to bring the American surgeons to the UK to perform the procedure. Inevitably, the NHS refused that request also. In desperation, the couple set up a crowd-funding page on GoFundMe in the hope that the NHS would allow Oliver to go to the U.S. if they paid for it themselves. By the middle of August, the Camerons had raised nearly £150,000 of their £200,000 goal.Charlie Gard was another baby that was killed by the NHS, in a dry run for Alfie Evans. But while it's very unlikely that the bureaucrats had a conscience or a sense of shame, they did have a bureaucrat's finely-tuned sense of self preservation. And so they let Oliver go to Boston, where American surgeons saved his life.
Meanwhile, the major media all but ignored Oliver’s dilemma. The BBC, for example, ran a whopping 85-word story. Ironically, the media inadvertently aided the couple with its concurrent coverage of the controversial Charlie Gard case. Just as Oliver’s parents began raising money, public pressure on the NHS was steadily intensifying pursuant to its refusal to allow Charlie to go to the U.S., where a hospital had offered to admit him for experimental treatment. Shortly after Charlie died, the NHS suddenly reversed its position. Oliver could go to Boston.
In other words, the NHS allowed Oliver to get competent treatment in the U.S. primarily as a way of avoiding further bad publicity. And the American “news” media, having inadvertently given socialized medicine a black eye by devoting so much coverage to the Charlie Gard atrocity, remained silent as the tomb regarding the NHS decision to send Oliver Cameron to Boston Children’s Hospital for surgery. And, when that 8-hour procedure proved successful, it was all but blacked out by the media.The media blackout is passing strange, is it not? We are drowning in glowing stories about the newly proposed "Medicare for Everyone" plan that would nationalize every doctor in the land. Why, oh why is the media not covering stories like Oliver's?
There are three obvious lessons here: First, socialism doesn’t work in medicine or any other human enterprise. It removes the incentive to keep up with the times and it invariably puts soulless bureaucrats in charge of your life. These people couldn’t care less if you live or die. Second, capitalism does work in medicine and every other human enterprise. It provides the incentive to remain state-of-the-art, and it puts you in charge of your own life. Third, anyone who says socialism will render U.S. health care more efficient or equitable than our quasi-capitalistic system is an idiot or a liar.My one gentle criticism of the author is that last sentence: idiot or liar. Perhaps we can embrace the healing power of "and"?
Anyone who is enamored of socialized medicine might productively read through my posts tagged "Killed by socialized medicine" which go back nine years. There are lots of examples that the media generally doesn't report.