"There is no doubt... let me say that this is perhaps the best question
I have heard this evening, because it gets to the heart of a difficult
issue. So thank you.
This is difficult field in which to make sweeping statements and
make pronouncements from on-high without specific examples, and I think
that is why it such a difficult area for we politicians to let go: we must
let go, and trust Doctors and other health professionals to make the right
Broadly speaking, that will be.. would be my policy as President,
to allow doctors and health professionals to make the best decisions..
and, more importantly, to assist their patients to make the best decisions,
because at the heart of it, Doctors do not make decisions as much as
patients have to. Most of all, my administration will permit them
to make those decisions without government interference.
All medical procedures that can save lives or make lives more
comfortable will be permitted. I will see to it that a woman's ability to
choose when she has children will be reinforced, even in Nystonia state.
I will ensure that this applies to thirteen year old girls as well, that
their right to delay parenthood are not overrun. That said, my approach
will, in all medical fields, will be prevention rather than cure.
Euthenasia would also be permitted under my Presidency. The rights
of individuals to choose the point at which they no longer live should
not be overrun by the long arm of Utan Krysaror [Utanian Capital city].
My administration's fundemental approach can be best summarised
as secular. The state shall play no role in enforcing morality, but then
neither will it play any part in pooh-pooing or forcing the violation of
the moral codes that our people choose to live by. How people choose to
live should be, and will be under my government, protected and not
interferred with by the state.
There is only one caveat to that; you mentioned drugs. This is
a doubly difficult area to make pronouncements as I have just done, because
we are talking about people whose will to live by their chosen moral code
is already overrun by the addictive power of the...
MODERATOR: Ah, Mr Boornal. Your...-
..drugs in question.
Uh, okay, then let me finish by saying that while drugs may be
somewhat legalised, treatment, not enforcement, will be my policy.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr Langley, your two minutes.
I believe Mr Boornal got to the crux of the issue there, but has ended
his explanation contradicting himself: he is in favour of secular freedom
of choice, yet suggests that he would violate that in the case of drugs
which, he says, takes away your freedom of will. Rather than being critical
of that contradiction, I am sympathetic, because I believe there are few
cases in which the patient's choices are not unduly influenced.
Take euthenasia. Overwhelming pain, or pressure from a medical
industry that has no interest in keeping the patient forever on life
support, will violate the patient's right to choose.
You see, we live not just as individuals in this world, but as
members of a society that has rights as well. Drug users are not only
having a devastating impact on their own lives, but on the lives of the
people who care for them, and the people around them. Indeed, they often
have an impact on the people they steal from, steal to feed their habits.
These people have become a danger not only to themselves, but to
the community they live in, to the very society they belong to. And that
society must have rights as well, must have rights to protect itself,
and rights to protect people from themselves. If that means violating
these people's freedoms, so be it.
I reject, wholeheartedly, this obsession of some of my colleagues
to promote this country as one of rights and freedoms of the individual.
Society has rights, too, and we must not provide undue strength to the
provision and protection, indeed promotion of individualism in this
society, which is a cohesive collective, not a collective of individuals.
My approach to all health policy issues will be to reflect that
MODERATOR: Mr Langley, just to clarify one aspect of your
position, will you permit abortions and euthenasia?
My approach, as President, will be that of looking to the needs of both
the society and the individual. I believe in both cases, there is a need
for restriction of these individual rights for the benefit of the society
as a whole.
MODERATOR: Alright, we'll leave that there, Mr Langley.
Mister President, your turn.
Thank you. I think it is important to emphasise the aberration that
Nystonia state represents. This is not Utani tradition, it is simple moral
imperialism, the same that we had under the Guwimithians who intended to
impose their religion, their beliefs, their morality on we Utanians. And
it is this policy that I reject.
Utani are traditionally far more moderate in their approach to
such difficult decisions than Nystonia state has proven. And I believe
this should be applied to the management of the Utanian state. Appealling,
as Mr Boornal has done, to the individualists in our midst will not
provide a coherent health policy, but a mish-mash of rules lacking any
I believe the state should provide some guidance, some limits.
As the great and honoured Saint said, while all things are permissible,
not all things are good for me. [St Paul] I think this is a principle
by which the state can provide coherent health policy.
Under my continued administration, abortions will be permitted,
but not a free-for-all. There will be limits. As for the thirteen year
old pregnant girls, I think we would need to examine the specifics of
these cases. Certainly without that, I will refrain from making moral
pronouncements, let alone policy based on so little information. Yet,
on whether these children should abort their babies, the answer is clear:
there are numerous alternatives to abortion, such as adoption.
Let me be clear about my position again: I believe that abortion
is a medical procedure that should be applied when there are medical
grounds as to why a birth should not occur. It is not a procedure that
should be applied as a catch-all to contraception.
While passive euthenasia should be permitted, I think there are,
again, limits at active euthenasia. And the scourge of drug use will be
treated, and imports and sales curbed. I see no reason to permit this
being inflicted on our communities.
MODERATOR: Mr President, that's definitely time.
OKARVITS: Uh, alright, I'll leave it there. Thank you.
MODERATOR: No, thank you. Mister Olds, you're up next.
I think I would agree with Mr Boornal that this is a good question, but
a minefield to answer. Broadly speaking, I think the solution lies in
the middle. The President argues for limits, Mr Boornal for none, and
Mr Langley argues for society first.
I think that if there is a concensus as to what limits there
should be, then the state, as servant of the people, should place those
limits in place. I think this would mean that many people would agree
with limits on various procedures, such as euthenasia or abortion, and
I will agree with those, because I think the majority has a right to
influence health policies of this nature.
As for working through specifics, I think that should be left
until after community consultations.
MODERATOR: Alright, brief and to the point. Governor Hope?
I would like to echo previous sentiment that this is a good question, if
for no other reason that it is difficult to answer for a politician. I
would also echo the, uh, brief sentiment of Mr Olds that such
policies need to be directed by the people, not by the state. And where
there is a clear and obvious support for restrictions, then they should
be imposed, because we do, as Mr Langley pointed out, live as part of
a community, a society, not just as individuals.
Now, that said, it does not mean the state, represented by the
President, should abdicate his responsibility to lead the people. And I
believe there are numerous areas in which leadership can be shown.
One area that I have championed is in free contraceptives. I
still support such a policy. I believe that our citizens should have the
right to choose when they enjoy pregnancy, and that this right should
be extended to the youngest in our midst.
Now, I am personally shocked that this country has thirteen year
old mothers, and it is not a position I would have wanted any of my
duaghters to be in, but, I also believe that this is a matter between the
parents and the people involved. Not the state. Oh, unless, of course,
this pregnancy has come by way of a crime, and I will be clear here, that
adults have an obligation to protect their children, and the state has
the same obligation. I will not tolerate, as President, the abuse of any
child. They are our future, and our future will not be damaged by the
stupidity or malice of the present.
[Gets wind-up] Alright, let me finish by adding this: I will lead
when it comes to health policy. I will find the solutions and pursue them
as President, that are pragmatic, sensible, and are in tune with the very
best of the cultures that we Utanians are.
MODERATOR: Mr Talin. Two minutes...
I will start by making my position clear: I am against state-sponsored
morality. Nystonia state is an anathema to the Utanian state, and, if
elected President, I would reverse every one of the... ridiculous over-stretches
of power that Governor Cryer has implemented.
I believe the state should stay out of morality, and I believe
the state should be demonstrating leadership when it comes to such matters,
by providing and supporting alternative solutions, and by accepting the
needs and wants of the community.
I find myself in a strange position agreeing with Governor Hope
on contraception. I support free contraception, but I also support the
right of parents and communities to moderate the behaviour of their
children. So, such measures should not be made available to all for all
ages if so chosen by the community.
I believe that health policy should reflect the needs and the
desires of the people it is treating. I believe it should be active in
seeking to appease the people it serves, and I oppose the notion that some
bureaucrat in Utan Krysaror [national capital] or Vela Luka [Nystonia
state capital] should be imposing the policy from on high.
I believe this is the appropriate path forward, and will be my
policy, if I am elected President.