Volume 013, Number 2, Spring, 1995

Deadly Care

By Richard W. Fulmer

Vantage Press, 1994, 171 pgs, $9.95
Reviewed by Victoria Varga
March 1995

Imagine that the original Clinton health care plan was passed with all its bells and whistles, including a jail sentence for those who try to get medical care outside the plan. In another political climate, it might have happened, and that's the background of Richard Fulmer's thriller, Deadly Care. A young couple's tiny baby is dying for lack of open-heart surgery, an operation that was performed whenever necessary in pre-plan days, but is rationed now. Quite naturally, the parents turn to other means—a doctor they've heard who will do illegal procedures—and are caught by the Feds who have bugged the doctor's office.

Deadly Care is a thriller written to appeal to Conservatives and Conservative libertarians. Liberals, especially Hillary Clinton, are portrayed as not just misguided, but evil. They recognize ahead of time all the consequences of their statist meddling but insist on having their own ideological way, presumably to promote the greatest good for the greatest number. All the heroes, on the other hand, have rightist credentials: Rush Limbaugh becomes part of the offstage action, and two of the heroes are noble ex-military men (and yes I know they exist, (had one in my family until he was killed in a helicopter accident last year).

As a liberal libertarian, I found myself alternately annoyed and amused by the novel's conservative bent, but I recognize that it is difficult to write a libertarian novel that will appeal to, and persuade, both the left and right wings of the American political spectrum. One of the easiest ways, in fact, to use fiction to nudge someone along the road to freedom Ls to present sympathetic characters (i.e., that the reader can identify with) and then to confront those characters with the results of some government edict or another and let the reader decide that s/he, too, would fight against that edict.

Deadly Care does this fairly well, and it does make some very libertarian points in the process. These points include the absolute right to disobey unjust laws, and the right of a jury member to vote "not guilty," even if a trial defendant has broken a law, if that law Ls unjust. Give this novel to statist/conservative friends and see what they say. Give them that nudge.

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