These are very thorny issues that we very well may get confronted with in this coming flu season. How will we handle them? The Brits at least appear to have the emotional maturity to start the discussion in explicit terms, so that they can wrestle with some of these issues before the 11th hour. Are we? In the US we cannot even seem to get beyond the demagoguery of grandma killings at this most important healthcare juncture. What will we do when we are actually confronted with having to make these very real and concrete choices? The culture of "me-me-me" will only impede us from electing the rational path.
The time to think through these conundrums is now because come fall and winter it will be too late. Revolts have been fomented over lesser issues; do we really want to leave this to the last minute? As a nation we need to take a deep breath, arm ourselves with courage and open our eyes and ears. Not everyone will be pleased with everything, but at least we will have a clearer idea of what we can expect and, perhaps, in turn this clarity will allow for better personal and societal choices. The press needs to help lead this discussion in a measured non-sensationalized way. This is our opportunity to grow up as a nation. If we do not take it now, the results may be more devastating than we can imagine.