Above is Connie Culp, recipient of a face transplant. Her own face was shot off by her husband years ago, who then turned the gun on himself…and failed again. He’s locked away, thankfully. Connie managed to survive as well, but despite much reconstruction she had no sense of smell, no nose, one eye, no lower eyelids, could not eat or taste, and would not be able to recover these things through conventional reconstructive efforts.
One time a child said to her mother, “Mommy, you told me there were no real monsters and there’s one right there!” (To the pain – very real pain.) She magnanimously told the child that she wasn’t a monster but a woman who had been shot and showed the child how she used to look via her drivers’ license.
Through the efforts of a kind donor family, she was given a whole new face by the Cleveland Clinic, and at only 1/4 – 1/3 the cost of normal reconstructive surgeries. She can now smell, eat, taste, and is doing fabulously – having to take very few immuno-suppression drugs, regaining blood flow and muscle tension. The excess folds will be removed as she continues to recover.
The clinic is going to **absorb the costs** of the surgery because it was experimental. This is the beauty in action of what is left of the free market – because they were allowed to make and use profits, they were able to advance medicine greatly, help people in genuine need regain meaningful things in their lives (smell and taste and food? Let me tell you, she’s mighty glad to have now eaten hamburgers and fries and pizza again!) In addition to advancing medicine and help someone in real need, they are even advancing a way to help cut the costs of some very expensive procedures, like reconstructions. All without the government using trillions of confiscatory tax dollars to do so.
These things don’t occur under fully socialized regimes, and can’t in the long run, because it all has to be rationed and progress – real progress – doesn’t get made. The market is able to let people do fabulous things like this, things that would have been pure science fiction only scant years ago. Why are we so willing to kneecap it and halt the progress of the most advanced societies on earth (who also end up providing care pro bono to some of the poorest people in the world – where do the children from Middle America with harelips or who are conjoined come to get free advanced surgeries to save their lives?) while trading in our liberties at the same time? Not without a fight.
And to brighten your day, here’s a bit of cheer! (Though I’m a little sad the cloud left at the end – without him there wouldn’t be rainbows now, would there?)
I might have chosen a different product, but it’s nice anyway :) H/T The Rotund