Individual rights… up to a point

I just got out of a fascinating talk that has me all fired up. Here’s the gist: should we restrict the rights of people on insulin for their diabetes to drive?

It turns out that Indiana, where I live, restricts people on insulin from driving commercially. No truck drivers, ambulance drivers, etc. This is because there is a belief – not backed up by solid evidence – that people who have insulin are a significantly greater risk to themselves and others on the road, if they let themselves get hypoglycemic.

I had no idea.  It’s driving me crazy.  Here are some of the questions I asked*:

  1. If I wear eyeglasses, I could potentially be at risk if I chose not to manage my terrible vision correctly. Shouldn’t I be similarly constrained then?
  2. What about the elderly? They are more likely to get in accidents, too. Shouldn’t they be restricted, too?
  3. People who are sleep deprived are also impaired (there’s research for that). Should we start restricting driving for people who don’t get enough sleep?
  4. Should we restrict gun sales to those with diabetes? They could also get hypoglycemic and shoot someone.
  5. Why, in the US, would we seek to restrict the rights of a group of people with no solid evidence behind it, let alone even with minimal evidence?

Mind you, I live in Indiana. It’s a pretty conservative  state. Where are the people fighting against this? Where are the lawsuits?

*Just so you know, I expect the answer to every one of these questions to be “no”. I just fail to see why they are different, and why we are singling out driving and people who take insulin for diabetes.

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