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Environmentalism Is Deadly: Considering Carbon Footprint of Medical Interventions Will Cost Lives

AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

I've written quite a bit about wokeness in healthcare and how dangerous it is -- because it is. Whether DEI policies and programs in med schools across the country, or woke changes to basic medical facts, lives are at stake because the Left puts their virtue signaling and moral superiority ahead of your health and safety.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is the latest to eschew the notion of 'do no harm' for considering the carbon footprint of medical interventions. And this will kill people.

From the study:

Human-induced climate change and destruction of nature is a global health emergency. By 2030, an estimated 2 billion people will reside in areas considered to be not well suited for sustaining human life.1 Extreme weather events, water and food insecurity, and the risk of infectious diseases are increasing. Immediate action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in all sectors of society is paramount to support a livable future.

Health care is a substantial contributor to the current environmental crisis. In 2021, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference health program urged the health care community to reduce emissions by building low-carbon, sustainable health care systems. But knowledge about the carbon footprints of existing health care interventions and how best to assess the environmental effects of new tests, treatments, and services in relation to their clinical benefits has been limited. As a result, it’s been difficult to make evidence-based decisions focused on using clinically effective and climate-friendly interventions.

Make no mistake: considering the carbon footprint of medical interventions means those interventions will be restricted, rationed, and otherwise limited. The priority will not be whether or not the intervention is effective and will save your life, the priority will be its impact on Gaia.

And if that impact is deemed too big or detrimental, guess who isn't getting that treatment.

You.

Or your loved ones.

This is, obviously, sarcasm but the point is exactly the one I'm trying to make: patients will be classified into categories of intersectionality and those who check the right boxes will get treatments. Those who don't, won't.

This is what the medical profession should do. 

Focus on medical interventions. If they work effectively, the last consideration should be the carbon footprint of said intervention.

But wokeness has turned all professions -- and professional standards -- upside down. Now the priority is not medical treatment in healthcare, or actual education in schools, or safety in the airline industry. The priority is diversity, or environmentalism, or other left-wing agenda items. The costs have been, and will continue to be, catastrophic.

As a nurse, I agree. Our job is to care for patients with the best, effective, treatments with compassion and empathy. When we reduce patients and their treatments to the calculus of a carbon footprint, we not only lose sight of the goal of medicine, we dehumanize our patients and the profession.

I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous this is. Whether DEI or environmentalism, woke ideology is bad in any area it infects. But it is exceptionally bad in health care, because it will lead to injury and death. It should scare all of us that the Left is willing to sacrifice others on altar of their political cause du jour, and do so without blinking an eye.

The NEJM is getting significant blowback on X, and rightly so. We must continue to express our outrage at such asinine policies and ideas so they get beaten back, and we must do this every time such ideology rears its ugly head. Otherwise, the cost of complacency is far too high to pay.

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