Its now discriminatory to apply equal health rules to all races?

OK lets start with the basics on this one.

Liver transplantation currently is the only definitive treatment for severe (end stage) liver failure.

There is always a shortage of livers and medical resources unfortunately thus there are requisites involved when it is determined if a patient qualifies for a liver transplant. The bottom line is that when using a resource as precious as a donated organ, we want to be assured that it is put to the best use possible. If a patient looks unlikely to survive long after a procedure due to health factors, they will be dropped on the list so that more viable recipients may get the procedure. Tough but essential decisions when finite resources are involved.

Many liver transplant procedures are done in Canada to treat liver failure due to chronic alcohol abuse.

One of the most surefire ways to negate the benefits of a liver transplant is to resume alcohol consumption after the transplant. The liver will be wasted and the patient will die. Because of this risk, there are sobriety requirements for patients before they can get a new liver. In Ontario it is six months.

Sobriety from addiction is a damn tough thing. I am speaking first hand as I am a recovering alcoholic. I am on my second stint with sobriety. My first was for a year some years ago. Now I am permanently dry and have been so for over six months now. As a bartender, I can assure you that it was challenging to become sober to say the least. One of the things that encouraged me to dry out was testing that found that my liver function was beginning to decline.

I, like many alcoholics come from a long line of alcoholics. My grandfather died young due to drinking and one of my uncles is on his second liver. Had my uncle not had a liver transplant, he would have died over a decade ago. In knowing the way my uncle drank, had he not been forced into sobriety for nearly a year before he got his transplant, he almost assuredly would have continued drinking after his transplant and would have died. The liver would have been wasted. I am glad for the responsible policies that forced him to break from his dependency though it did make for a tense period of time on the waiting list. Many alcoholics die on the waiting list unfortunately but it makes the requirement no less important. Bear in mind that many non-drinkers find themselves in need of livers and die on waiting lists as well. How many livers do we want to risk on people who may destroy them if we remove the sobriety requirement?

In my first stint with sobriety, I fully immersed myself in the program with Alcoholics Anonymous. While I didn’t care for the spiritual nature of the program, the sharing and time with other alcoholics was valuable to me in gaining and maintaining my sobriety at that time. One lesson that is clear from the shared wisdom of countless alcoholics in the program is that sober time is critical in reducing the chances of relapse. The first 90 days are the toughest. The next bar is six months. While many alcoholics unfortunately can relapse after years, if they can make it past a year of sobriety things are looking pretty good for them. That is why a six month sobriety for liver transplantation is not arbitrary or unreasonable.

There are studies being done to see how effective this waiting period is and we can wait and see I guess.

Now, on to the main subject here.

Delilah Saunders is a young native activist who sadly found herself in need of a liver transplant. As with everybody else in Ontario she was required to remain sober for six months before becoming eligible for the procedure. Due to her profile as an activist, other activists along with Amnesty International began protesting and claiming that it was discrimination to make Delilah wait for a transplant like everybody else.

It is sad but clear that anti-discrimination activists have utterly no idea what discrimination is.

From a CBC article on the issue:

Sobriety requirement ‘discriminatory’

The vigil heard that the policy of requiring six-months of sobriety before being put on the wait list for a liver transplant discriminates disproportionately against Indigenous people

How in the hell is having an equal policy for all races suddenly discrimination?

Yes, native people do suffer from addiction issues more than non-native people. That is due to our utterly failed reserve system which is essentially a system of apartheid maintained under the racist “Indian Act”.

None of the above justifies different status on medical requirements for transplantation.

One of the worst things being done to natives today is the nanny-state infantilization of them as a people to the point where they are never found to be personally responsible for any of their actions. This bullshit claim of discrimination in the case of liver transplant requirements is a prime example of it.

Our world seems to be going mad as identity politics dominate and an endless search for new perceived racial inequities has become a profession unto itself. It is tough to think of things more damned stupid than claiming that equal medical treatment is racist yet here we are.

On a good note, Delilah Saunders is reported to be recovering without a transplant so far. Lets hope that she recovers fully and learns to live a healthy life going forward. Even with live donation, the cost for transplant is around $40,000 for some very scarce medical dollars which could go to other patients if need be so she never needs the transplant it is great for everybody. If Delilah does still need the transplant and remains sober for the period long enough for it that is a good outcome too.

Lets just get off this tiresome and divisive bullshit of calling everything and anything discriminatory whenever something goes adversely for a native person. It is not helping anybody native or non-native alike.

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Culture and race are totally different things.

While the statement in the title to this post should be self-evident, it sadly is not.

Race is something we are born into. No person can either choose nor change their race (despite the best efforts of Michael Jackson). There are some pretty clear but overall minor physiological distinctions between races but it is pretty commonly understood that no race is inherently superior or inferior to another race. It is because of that fact that most people rightly find racial supremacism to be abhorrent in it’s very basis and call down those trying to practice or spread such repugnant ideals.

Culture is not like race. While some cultures are more predominant among some races and indeed of course originated among racial groups; culture is not at all like race in that a person can choose whether or not to practice a culture. Cultures can and do evolve and change and people may take on some elements of some cultures while rejecting elements of other cultures. While the differences between races are truly small once the clear aesthetic differences are set aside, the differences between cultures can be and are indeed often vast.

While we can’t realistically or morally be critical of an immutable state such as a person’s race, we can and should keep a critical eye on cultures.

Many have put culture on a pedestal next to race and tried to halt all discussion of the merits or shortcomings of any cultures. Many have acted as if cultures are things that cannot or should not ever be allowed to change or evolve. Some have treated cultures as if they are sacred things that must be preserved no matter how repugnant or obsolete some of their practices may be.

We need to get something straight in this increasingly hypersensitive world; not all cultures are equal, not all cultural practices and ideals are worthy of embracing or preserving and there is not a damn thing wrong with saying so!

Should we really accept the disgusting cultural practices against women in many parts of the Middle East simply because those traditions have been in place for centuries? Will we ever see live fox-hunts come back into fashion in England? How about bullfighting? What about some of the ingrained acts of animal cruelty in parts of Asia? Is the caste system of India worthy of preservation? Are we allowed to be critical of widespread female genital mutilation in Northern Africa? What about warlike cultures or those that practiced cannibalism?

None of the above cultural practices are acceptable to most modern eyes. Those practices are fading quickly thanks to our living in a world where the widespread sharing of information and a general and growing empathy has led to outside pressures being able to effect entrenched but outdated and often cruel cultural practices in some societies. This is a great trend for humanity in general and I look forward to seeing this new modern empathy spreading. It has not been through direct intervention in culture that cultures are evolving like this nearly as much as a general spreading of education and of modern world values.

One thing that will hinder this fast leap in worldwide cultural evolution though is the practice of acting as if cultures are immutable things that are above critique and must be protected from change at all costs. Cultures change and shed practices all the time and this is a good thing.

Healthy cultures are things that are constantly evolving to reflect and respond to a changing world. Some aspects of culture are retained while others fall by the wayside as time passes. Some cultures have gotten more complex and evolved more than others for a number of reasons leading to some cultures being more functional in a modern world than others. Some have had to make larger leaps in evolution to keep up with the modern world than others and it has led to challenges. Cultures with written languages had more complex social and legal structures than those who still remained in a hunter-gatherer stage until relatively recently. This is not an insult to those who’s ancestors were so recently nomadic gatherers, it is simply a statement of fact and it has utterly nothing to do with race.

It has to be accepted though that embracing elements of the more evolved cultures is critical to these current dysfunctional cultures in North America that are caught straddling a fence between pressures from academics and naïve urban dwellers who want to keep some sort of anthropological zoos of ancient culture in what we call native reserves and the cultural demands of a generation exposed to modern communications and seeing the advantages of living within the current modern culture even if the path to that lifestyle is muddied.

Cultural evolution is not assimilation!! The most destructive assholes we truly have in society today are those have convinced themselves and as many reserve dwelling natives as possible that all change from a primitive hunter-gatherer society is “assimilation” or even “genocide”. This leads only to cultural confusion and has made such a damned mess of the culture on reserves that most of the residents there reflect neither modern North American culture nor ancient Native culture; they simply now are mired in a culture of defeat, depression, misery and dependency. It is indeed a unique culture but it is a revolting one to observe in a modern world.

What is needed is not an attempt to intervene in cultures. Indeed, it is much of that idiocy that led to the residential school system and attempted forcing of cultural evolution that failed terrible and caused so much damage. What is needed now is to damn well leave culture alone. It is not the role of government, nor academics, nor non-profits, nor activists, nor pretty much anybody not living on a Native reserve to change or preserve Native cultures. Culture on native reserves will evolve to wherever it belongs as soon as we quit messing with it.

Getting back to that original point; we can’t treat cultures like races as they are utterly different. The cultural evolution of all modern people will be stunted if we let this foolish trend of shutting down all critique and objective examination of cultures through the screeching of “racism” at all who may dare question the cultural status quo. The lightning fast evolution of world cultures in this last century has been one of the most breathtaking advancements in the evolution of humanity. Let’s not let fools try to halt or stunt this progress through hysteric and unrelated comparisons to things like race.

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