Stephen Hawking’s Health Care

August 17th, 2009

As reported in the Canadian National Post, a recent editorial in Investor’s Business Daily titled “How House Bill Runs Over Grandma” stated:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

One problem:  Hawking is British, lives in the UK, and receives NHS health care.

Hawking took exception, saying:

I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.

IBD has removed the reference to Hawking.  They should have apologized, too.

This is the kind of misinformation that poisons the debate on health care.  Next will be a loud protester carrying a crude sign sign saying “Save Stephen Hawking!”

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4 Responses to “Stephen Hawking’s Health Care”

  1. Harvey |

    Irony strikes again! LOL!

  2. andi |

    Do you think he would have gotten the same care if he were not Stephen Hawking? Probably Not!

  3. Tom |

    When his disease was first diagnosed and treatment began, he wasn’t “Stephen Hawking.” He was a 21-year-old university student who almost certainly got the same treatement anyone else would have gotten. That treatment continued for some years before he became famous.

    I don’t doubt that the NHS has done a great job treating him and prolonging his life. He’s already lived much longer than anyone with his disease could have expected to live.

    I don’t want an NHS-type system in the U.S. At the same time, it’s only fair to say that the NHS isn’t that bad. They have a good reputation for diagnosing and treating serious conditions; most of the gripes come from people who have to wait longer than they want to for more routine care and elective procedures.

  4. Brian |

    Just don’t get cancer in the UK. Their 5 year survival rates don’t compare to ours, and theirs are about the best in Europe.

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