David Healy: Shipwreck of the Singular
Donald Klein’s reply to Barry Blackwell’s comment on his comment


            Barry Blackwell and I clearly share our views of the reprehensible industrial and academic failures. 

            Where do we differ?

            Quoting Barry’s summary statement: “But, in the end, we might all agree with both the diagnosis and potential cure for this problem. To restore our profession’s attention to the public’s singular needs we both must shed our ambivalence towards universal health care and express that preference at the ballot box – perhaps “Scientific Socialism” in practice?”

The thrust of my previous statement (INHN 2016) is that the context of this problem goes well beyond restoring our profession’s honesty by speaking out about this disgusting scene.  An associated difficult issue is helping the public understand the countervailing pressures that have been so effective in the United States’ ballots.

            Quoting my prior summary statement: ”The question of how to improve this particular public understanding, specifically of the countervailing pressure, could be made a central focus of this historical, intellectual group’s discussion. Seems worthwhile. However, if we are on the whole comfortable, arousing to any action, except discussion, may not work.” For two years it has not worked. Even discussion. 

            Barry also asserts that we should speak out, as a profession, about the necessity of universal healthcare.It seems possible that voters may take protective action this November 2018 with regards to threats to their insurance's health plan that currently must include pre-existing conditions. 

            This is far narrower than enthusiasm for universal healthcare. Spiking such enthusiasm as detestable socialism has been one of the major successes of the countervailing pressures. It is not clear whether favorable speaking out about universal healthcare will clarify or obscure voters’ narrower intentions.  

            That Barry Blackwell and I agree about universal healthcare’s necessity is irrelevant.



Klein DF. Donald F. Klein’s comment. David Healy: Shipwreck of the singular. INHN.org, June 30, 2016; Controversies.


January 31, 2019