Fortunately, this is just science fiction -- right? (*nervous tug on collar*)
Unfortunately, not. Proposed medical rationing schemes in the US bear an eerie similarity to the Star Trek episode.
From my recent Forbes piece, "Get Ready for ObamaCare's Medical Rationing":
...Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, has already laid the intellectual groundwork for overt rationing in a 2009 Lancet article, “Principles For Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions.” Dr. Emanuel is a former White House health care advisor and the brother of Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff.(Read the rest of the piece for more rationing proposals advanced recently in the New York Times.)
Dr. Emanuel proposes rationing based on a combination of factors including patient age, expected “quality adjusted life years,” and the patient’s “instrumental value” to “society.” Given that the government would be making (and paying for) these rationing decisions, value to “society” will become “value as determined by the government.”
Such rationing completely inverts the relationship between the individual and the state. Rather than the state existing to serve the individual, the individual’s existence is sustained at the discretion of the state. This is the opposite of the American founders’ intention that the government be the people’s servant, not their master.
It will be up to the American voters next month to determine if this stays science fiction -- or becomes fact