This one is for Andrew and Olivia. Having lost two dear ones to cancer over the past two days—a good friend on Sunday, a treasured performing artist yesterday—I promised that today, in their honor, I would “rail against the ideas and premises that have kept cancer alive, and against those who support, defend, and further such ideas.” Here comes the railing:
The FDA is truly and accurately, without exaggeration, the “Federal Death Agency.”* It’s the Federal Death Agency, the Federal Suffering Agency, the Federal Life-Shortening Agency, the Federal Disease & Sickness Prolonging Agency, the Federal Shackling & Prohibition of Desperately Needed Medicines & Procedures Agency. The FDA, if there were full truth in advertising, would be flying the Skull & Crossbones over their headquarters daily. The incalculable measure of death, suffering, pain, illness, and misery inflicted by this one agency alone is staggering.
And yet the agency itself is not the real problem. The agency is but a predictable, inevitable, logical symptom of the underlying disease, and the cause of that disease is both wholly self-inflicted and wholly curable. The cause of the disease, of which the FDA is a symptom, is 100% man-made. That man-made cause could be cured and eradicated immediately, could be destroyed forever, today—but it won’t be, not today, not tomorrow, not for many years to come, because the majority of men and women are so addicted to the cause, so vested in the cause and dependent on it, they would rather suffer and die themselves than face the responsibility for supporting and defending it. They would watch their own loved ones suffer and die before they would question, examine, reject, and replace the cause of that suffering and death with the only viable alternative—an alternative which already exists. Yes, the cure for the disease, of which the FDA and its horrific effects are but a symptom, already exists.
No one and no agency has the moral right to stand between an individual and his choice of any and every medical option available to him, especially when his life and health are at stake. No one and no agency has the moral right to stand between the inventors, producers, and providers of medicines, medical equipment, and medical procedures, and the patients who desperately want and need those products, procedures, and services, those who are willing, by their own judgment and moral right, to risk trying whatever available option in the face of the alternatives.
Those who believe and hold otherwise, that humans are by nature incapable of making their own healthcare choices, or shouldn’t be allowed to, for altruistic reasons, are operating on the very premises that caused the creation of that murderous entity which is the FDA. Those who hold that the individual’s own healthcare choices should and must be subordinated to the “greater good,” that the good of the individual should be sacrificed to the good of the less intelligent, the less educated, the “less fortunate,” are operating on the very premise that results in the unnecessary suffering and premature death of thousands, indeed millions, including the unnecessary suffering and death of those nearest and dearest to them.
Yes, if not for the philosophical premises of altruism that support the FDA, premises held by most Americans left and right, cancer, along with so many other diseases, would already be well behind us. Andrew Bergman, Olivia Newton-John, and countless others would still be with us today, happily living their lives. For those fortunate enough not yet to have succumbed to Andrew and Olivia’s fate, those who might still believe that the existence of the FDA is in your best interest—please do yourself a favor: think again. Or as Ayn Rand would say, check your premises. Discover the rational, life-saving alternative.
FDA delenda est.
*Credit to Harry Binswanger for the accurate epithet. See the article “The FDA is the Federal Death Agency” for further consideration. For the proper, principled approach to defending private medicine, see https://ari.aynrand.org/issues/government-and-business/health-care/ .