Opinion: Freedom of choice?


We all like to have our choice. Good, we have earned the right to lead our own lives. We go to work. We pay our bills. We follow the general rules of an organized society. So why wouldn’t we be able to decide things for ourselves? If such is our whim to have tacos tonight, no one should force us into a Chinese restaurant, no matter how much they might like eggrolls. It all seems orderly enough.

Still, even as the word choice appears printed here on this page, it generates a trigger for some good readers. Is school choice or gender choice or health care choice intended? As we move from the important question of Taco Bell versus Panda Express, we humans can become a little trickier in our handling of choice – what it is and who should get it. Many who support choice on any of the above don’t believe that the others make any sense at all. The opposite is just as likely true. While there are legitimate matters to be contemplated in the specific examples, the intended point is that what some think to be a basic human choice, others just as strongly consider off-the-table, even immoral.

Is the choice of choice the thing? Or is it who gets to choose the chooser that raises our ire? Indiana is way ahead, and soon all Hoosiers who want to be vaccinated will be. Some will be OK with objectors and others not. The FDA chose to let the vaccines go to market with different standards than might apply to other drugs. Can the same chooser choose to expedite a needed experimental cancer drug? Can the desperate patient knowingly choose to take the risk? When are we free to choose, and when are we free to choose for others?