Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Big Government Coercion: It's Not Only National

Crackpots from anti-science movements have filed an international criminal charge against Zackie Achmat, an activist who has volunteered much of his time to find public and private sector funds to provide protease inhibitors and other anti-HIV drugs to the poor of Africa.

It would be one thing if Anthony Brink of the Treatment Information Group, the individual using the "international court," wished to argue his own case against Achmat's thesis. According to the Advocate, the source of the disagreement is:

The case has become a controversial benchmark because it is seen as a difference of opinion. Brink receives funding from Dr. Matthias Rath, who favors vitamin usage in lieu of drugs for the treatment of HIV, while TAC has been a public advocate for treating HIV with medication use.

Now, let's ignore the unscientific nature of the contention that HIV treatments developed by pharmaceutical companies are "deadly and ineffective" for a moment. Both Brink and Achmat have the right to advance their theories with the population, and individuals who choose to take vitamins in lieu of effective medical treatment (and die earlier of advanced HIV disease) should be free to do so if they so choose.

But Brink, in typical big government power abusive fashion, has decided that nobody should be able to choose, advocate or facilitate mainstream medical treatment for HIV. Not only is he willing to risk the health of those who have chosen to take standard HIV drugs (which are known the world over for extending life for those with HIV by years or decades), but he's also willing to abuse "criminal justice" to imprison the individual with whom he disagrees.

Anyone who thinks that further government interference in our health care here in America is a good idea should take note. If individuals with a crackpot agenda and some good lawyers get a bit of influence, you could find your own medical decisions being overruled by people who mandate warm water to treat cancer, or Centrum to treat pneumocystis -- while denying you the right to seek your own preferred treatment. With that power, statists would strip the rights of entire vulnerable groups of people -- such as those with HIV -- from making their own decisions and taking steps to extend their lifetimes and improve the quality of their lives.

Nothing could be more unethical, immoral, or even "genocidal."

As for the other problem, the abuse of the "international criminal court," that's self-evident. Fortunately, the court has no jurisdiction in the USA, where our Constitution is the law of the land. This news story illustrates the wisdom of preserving that status quo in perpetuity.