Response from Dr. Henry

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Greg Henry responds to letters to the editor regarding the article Should sepsis be the “friend of the elderly”?

Click here to read the Open letter
I see my editorial had its correct effect. It jarred some sensitivities and got people writing. To the end that we have produced interesting discussion we have fulfilled one of the important functions of a publication. To the assembled multitudes of famous people who signed onto the group letter (left), let me just say that I believe you have lost a little bit of your sense of humor. Obviously, I have essentially argued by trivial invocation of the Fulton Non Sequitur. Is it slightly overstated? Yes. Your comments that I did not separate chronilogical from functional age is absolutely correct, but the point of the piece is still clear. One has to ask serious questions when we are about to allot large amounts of public moneys. It is interesting to note that the Singaporese are able to produce better infant mortality and longevity using only 4% of their gross domestic product as opposed to the United States which requires 17% of its GDP for worse results. To think that this doesn’t have to be challenged is a huge intellectual and moral mistake.

Dr. Edwin Leap has raised an interesting issue. I’ve always respected Dr. Leap and find his response both intelligent and challenging. When one is faced with the Darwin vs. God debate, it is good to remember that medicine, by definition, is anti-evolutionary. Virtually all of health care funds, at the 95% level, are spent on people beyond their child-bearing years, which runs counter to a true Darwinian worldview. So with regard to Dr. Leap, I would just like to say that we should use Thomas Hobbes vs. John Locke as a reasonable debate. But my same point is again made: A nation which is unwilling to challenge how it spends its collective moneys has made a huge mistake.


Lastly, Dr. Garabedian has hit the nail on the head. This is a question of social and moral responsibility. What we are doing to our children and our children’s children with adding senselessly to the national debt is a moral outrage. I would invite those who think that mindless spending is the way to maintain a great society to review the history of those great nations which have gone before us. After that, I invite you to go home and teach your children to bow politely to their Chinese masters.

I look forward to this continuing discussion.

Greg Henry, MD


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