Thursday, June 05, 2014

Dictatorship of the Professions

Vox has a really excellent explanatory interview with Mari Steed on the Irish Mother and Baby Homes scandal.

One point may be worth observing about this period. When 1940s governments in Ireland started to take on the country's atrocious public health outcomes (which were magnified in these homes), the opposition came in equal parts from the Catholic Church and the doctors -- and given the esteemed occupations in Ireland at the time, that was a tightly knit and well connected alliance. Eventually the country got the basics of a national health provision system in place, although some of the features of the opposition from that era, such as preserving the role of private medical practice in the public system -- still haunt it today.

Luckily also, Ireland eventually moved on from its deference to priests and doctors and elevated bankers and financial consultants in their place, and we all lived happy ever after.