This is a review of Aniello Iannuzzi's chapter in the book, The Greens: Policies, reality and consequences. For an introduction to the review, see my other blog post at:
Aniello Iannuzzi on the Australian Greens’ Health policies
“So whilst old ladies lie in public hospital beds with hip fractures awaiting surgery, the Greens will be spending money on whales and other creatures, and at the same time promoting euthanasia to be freely available on demand with negligible safeguards. What is in effect legalised assisted suicide and murder will further push doctors into major ethical dilemmas. The economically draining elderly and disabled will be liquidated in order to free up funds for saving animals, abortions and allowing assisted reproduction for those deemed suitable”.
This extract from a revised, extended version of Dr Aniello Iannuzzi's chapter on the Australian Greens’ (Greens) health policy from the book, The Greens: Policies, reality and consequences, showcases Iannuzzi’s sensationalist, paranoid, Christian morality.
Iannuzzi, a rural NSW GP, asserts that the Greens’ policies focus on ensuring the rights of animals, at the expense of human beings. What Iannuzzi fails to note is that, since the early 1970s, philosophy has become involved in the question of animal liberation, defining the views of the likes of Iannuzzi as mere unenlightened speciesism. In his book, In defence of animals: The second wave, Peter Singer points out that, “the Judeo-Christian ethic teaches that the lives of human beings are sacred and the lives of other beings are not”. (p.6) Like many conservatives, Iannuzzi is obsessed with the supposed irrational and misanthropic nature of the Greens His paranoia over their supposed extreme- environmentalism, -socialism, and - animal rights policies and is a fury of stupidity. Iannuzzi’s traditional stance against voluntary euthanasia, abortion and assisted reproduction for non-heterosexual couples is informed by a conservative Christian morality and clouds his ability to rationally analysis.
For Iannuzzi, focus on substantial matters pertaining to the healthcare system are rare. In a discussion of Denticare, Iannuzzi asserts that the Greens’ policies are un-costed and unaffordable. While the Greens’ Denticare policy intends to bring dental health fully in to Medicare, Iannuzzi argues that dentists do not want to be forced to work under a system that would reduce their earning capacity. Nevertheless, after the publication of this book, the Greens helped secure part of a new national dental health scheme, which has contributed to providing free dental care to children. Moreover, the Greens’ Denticare plan has now been fully costed by the Parliamentary Budget office.
Iannuzzi demonstrates a revolting intersection of Christian morality with a commitment to individualism and economic rationalism. He infers that these philosophies naturally form the basis of human behaviour. While much Modern Western thinking has become informed by individualism, economic rationalism and Christianity, it is important to remember that the value placed on these philosophies is historically and social constructed. In Pushing our luck: Ideas for Australian Progress, feminist Eva Cox recognises that people are not motivated purely by individualism and economic rationalism. Her contribution is a call for governments and individuals to recognise the failures of neoliberal thinking.
My trust in Iannuzzi’s voice as an expert on health policy plummeted further when his wider agenda became apparent in the following quote, the “carbon tax, mining tax and gagging of free speech have been achieved. Gay marriage, euthanasia, and repression of independent school curricula seem only moments away". Drifting far from the topic of health, Iannuzzi appears to be more invested in asserting a particular moral, (economic, individualist) agenda, rather than addressing how successfully Greens' policies provide for the healthcare of all Australians. Iannuzzi's chapter on Greens' health policies suggests that he focuses on the needs of those privileged by systems of Christianity and Capitalism.
 what it means to be human and the value of human beings over other animals…reinforcing the idea that the Greens are anti-human…the chapter is called ‘A Nanny State will keep you healthy…if you are an animal’
 Denticare would give all Australians access to dental care under Medicare, and would phase in over 5 years, starting with the most needy. Under Denticare, going to the dentist would be just like going to the doctor. (from the policy)
 free dental treatment for children. In 2012, the Greens negotiated a new national dental health scheme worth nearly $5 billion over the next 6 years, bringing Medicare-funded dentistry to 3.4 million children. The Greens also secured $1.3 billion for extra public services and hundreds of millions more for new dental infrastructure. This is the biggest boost to dental health Australia has seen. http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/better-dental-care-millions-australians