Friday, August 21, 2009

ration |ˈra sh ən; ˈrā-|
a fixed amount of a commodity officially allowed to each person during a time of shortage, as in wartime : 1918 saw the bread ration reduced on two occasions.
• (usu. rations) an amount of food supplied on a regular basis, esp. to members of the armed forces during a war.
• ( rations) food; provisions : their emergency rations ran out.
• figurative a fixed amount of a particular thing : their daily ration of fresh air.
verb [ trans. ] (usu. be rationed)
allow each person to have only a fixed amount of (a particular commodity) : shoes were rationed from 1943.
• ( ration someone to) allow someone to have only (a fixed amount of a certain commodity) : they were requested to ration themselves to one glass of wine each.
ORIGIN early 18th cent.: from French, from Latin ratio(n-) ‘reckoning, ratio.’
Neither Brain Leiter nor Peter Singer seems to know what the word means They're not alone [Leiter puts it in scare quotes without really questioning the use.] If either of them thought about it a bit they'd see why people worry about the implications. Insurance companies have set amounts they are willing to pay per service and per contract, but there is no "rationing" in Canada, or France, or England: there is no set amount government is willing to pay for any given person over the course of their lives. And the decision to end care is based on current information and common sense -as defined by the people involved- not contract or profit.

Ask why people are upset, don't assume they think about things the same way you do. And if one of you is wrong don't assume its always the non-"expert."

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