Point of View Columns

When Suicide Becomes Homicide

As you are reading this approximately 2,000 American men, women and children are dying from COVID-19 every single day. Well over 85% of these men, women and children who are dying are also unvaccinated. Incredibly, even though the vaccines to protect Americans from the virus have been available for close to ten months, only 52 percent of all Americans are actually vaccinated.

There appears to be no appeal to logic, community responsibility or common sense is having the desired effect of increased rates of vaccinations. While there will be more vaccinations of children under 12 very soon, it would seem that the vaccination rate of Americans 12 years and older is probably not going to rise appreciably. And, to provide some perspective, the United States ranks number 55 among all of the countries in the world when it comes to vaccination rates of its population – behind Andorra and Albania (seriously).

It should be enough to point out that 2,000 largely unvaccinated Americans are dying every day to move people to get vaccinated. Instead, the intransigence and stubbornness of too many people seems to be encased in concrete. The science, the data, the procession of funerals – none of that seems to be able to motivate people to protect themselves and their communities.

What we have seen is too many people speaking about “personal freedom”, as if freedom is something that is absolute and without boundaries and limitations. There is freedom of speech in this country, but a speech threatening the life of the president can result in a prison sentence. There is freedom of religion in this country but practicing human sacrifice will almost certainly result in imprisonment for life.

When it comes to public health, there have been vaccination mandates for smallpox, rubella, whooping cough and polio for decades. And it is not a coincidence that in the United States child mortality rates have declined precipitously for decades.

Yet somehow and some way millions of Americans believe that it is alright to refuse a vaccine that will save their lives and the lives of their neighbors and friends and those that they love. Somehow and some way millions of Americans do not believe in vaccination mandates although mandates to use seatbelts in automobiles and avoid drunk driving are accepted without protest.

Historians will ponder the bizarre insanity exhibited by the opponents of the COVID vaccine – even though many of these opponents recant just before they are put on a ventilator in an ICU. And it is really important to focus on ICU’s in this entire matter.

ICU and hospital beds are filling up all over the country with unvaccinated people who are sick and dying from COVID. It is important to understand that the hospital facilities of the United States are not infinite in their capacity. There is also not an infinite number of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers.

In too many places in this country victims of car accidents, construction accidents or cancer are being denied care, or provided less than full care since there are simply not enough healthcare workers or healthcare facilities to cope with the COVID tsunami and the normal demands for healthcare that are always present.

An awful scenario has already played out in this country – men, women and children who have been the victims of accidents or profound disease have been unable to receive appropriate care in a local ICU because all of the facilities are being employed to address the very real illness of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. In effect, vaccination denial is causing a chain reaction of deaths, not only for the unvaccinated sick individuals but also for individuals who are being denied care only because there are no adequate facilities available.

It has actually been suggested that unvaccinated COVID-19 patients be put in a special category – they will be given care in an ICU only if that does not mean denying care to a vaccinated individual – whether that person is a victim of gunshots, car accident or COVID-19. It is an awful life and death choice for any doctor to make, to be sure.

But it is also time to ensure that the intentionally unvaccinated do not commit homicide while they commit suicide.

Such is the desperate state of affairs in these United States of America.

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5 thoughts on “When Suicide Becomes Homicide

  1. skytrooper70 says:

    Furthermore, the COVID vaccines were developed under trump’s “Operation Warp Speed.” Without any doubt, if he still were POTUS (God forbid), we, the rational thinking people, know that he would have been pushing for widespread use of his “beautiful” vaccines, by all of his dedicated supporters. Surely, overall vaccination rates, especially among republicans, would be much higher, with trump still in office. After all, he would have hated to see his touted economic successes devastated by the continuing spread of COVID, via vaccination resistance.

  2. Lee A. Daniels says:

    You can’t fix stupid, they say. But the sharper point is that, very often, you can’t fix … willful ignorance, self-deceit, a right-wing-rooted political bias. I have a number of candidates for the “lost moment”—the moment when American society began sliding down the mountainside; but certainly future historians will count the inability of the society as a whole to respond properly to the pandemic as a crucial one. “American exceptionalism” indeed!

  3. I agree that the pandemic has been prolonged by the unvaccinated, but I am troubled by the concept of creating classes of patients based upon their vaccination status. Since healthcare in this country has not been deemed as a right, healthcare ratiioning is a slippery slope. I perceive your suggestion of putting these non-conforming patients in a “special category”, as much as they might deserve to be unentitled, a form of healthcare rationing. Rationing currently exists because health resources are finite. There are not enough ventilators and rooms. Still the Hippocratic Oath dictates, “first, do no harm.”

  4. life360degrees says:

    I agree that the pandemic has been prolonged by the unvaccinated, but I am troubled by the concept of creating classes of patients based upon their vaccination status. Since healthcare in this country has not been deemed as a right, healthcare rationing is a slippery slope. I perceive your suggestion of putting these non-conforming patients in a “special category”, as much as they might deserve to be unentitled, a form of healthcare rationing. Rationing by default currently exists because health resources are finite. There are not enough ventilators and rooms. Still, the Hippocratic Oath dictates, “first, do no harm.”

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